In their own words:

“The internet is changing the way you watch films. The Secret Cinema is changing where you watch films.”

Since 2008 the Secret Cinema have taken over more than 40 London warehouses, office blocks, palaces and parking lots, transforming disused spaces into grand-scale celebrations of treasured flicks. Carpenters build massive replica sets, actors recreate timeless scenes and artists craft original installations, all interpreting, exploring, and celebrating classic films in new ways. Instructed to arrive in costume, assume their assigned roles and take part in the action, the audience itself helps bring the film to life.

In May 2013 they transformed a 14-storey office block in South London into the dystopian world of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. For five weeks, the Delta Point building in Croydon became the headquarters for G.O.O.D. – the Government Office Of Data – an all-seeing all-knowing corporate conglomerate. Instructed to arrive in office attire, assume their assigned roles and take part in the action, the audience plays a key part in bringing the film to life. From top to bottom, every floor became part of the world of Brazil. Winding with ducts and pools of toxic waste, the basement was transformed into an industrial wasteland…

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The ground floor, dilapidated flats…IMG_14451

inhabited by crazed squatters…

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The second floor, a vast array of intranet computers (each with the ticket buyer’s individual identity and pass code logins)…

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A department store – complete with chintzy music and rollerskating telegram delivery girls – took over the third…

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The fourth floor became the Financial District, with a winding maze woven from the Financial Times – and an entire office covered in newspaper.

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With every floor, the experience shifted deeper into the recesses of the subconscious mind of the corporate citizens of G.O.O.D. – culminating in the stuff of nightmares at the very top of the building…

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Guerilla Science – always eager to bring science into new habitats in unexpected ways – brought a range of creations to crank all the levels to red.

Working with microbiologists, hazard specialists, plastic surgeons, psychiatrists, zoologists and botanists – plus feminist activists, actors and designers – we crafted a range of twisted creations to bring science to life within the world of Terry’s strange imagination.

In the basement, audience members joined the Power Team, and were costumed in real hazmat gear to scour for signs of nuclear, chemical and biological contamination.

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Nearby, guided tours saw UV-reflective scorpions, glowing bacteria, racing cockroaches and mutant pigeons on ‘Nature Safari Tours’…

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Upstairs, we infiltrated the ground floor flats with a colony of Mutant Pigeons

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Brought down the roof of the betting shop with Cockroach Racing

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In the Department Store, an ‘Atomic Garden’ of mutant plants forged with nuclear energy – including Star Ruby grapefruit and Todd Mitcham’s peppermint – blossomed with breeds created in the atomic age.

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With real pig skin and suturing kits, students assigned to ‘Plastic Surgery School’ learned how to perform Z-plasty stitches…

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Next door, shoppers could survey a catalogue of “designer vaginas” in the ‘Curtains of Love’, a sultry silken shrine to the vulva…

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For this, w were joined by the wonderful Shoreditch Sisters, who invited our guests to craft their own Bespoke Vulva

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And upstairs, we built a winding wooden ‘Dream Maze’ of test tubes where curious guests could explore and reflect on the neuroscience of sleeping visions.

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This was not only the biggest Secret Cinema production in history, it was also our biggest project of the year. Exhausted? Yes. Was it worth it? Oh god, yes. Read all about the unparalleled production on the GS website here and see all the photographs here.

And for more on past Guerilla Science collaborations with the Secret Cinema, check out what we brought to the fray for Blade Runner in 2010, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in November 2010, and Alien in 2009.

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