Apology as Secret Cinema cancelled
Organisers of an immersive Back To The Future cinema event which was cancelled, leaving ticketholders angry and complaining they had been left out of pocket, have said they are "deeply sorry" and working to get it back on track.
The first night of the Secret Cinema performance was called off last night (July 24) as fans were already assembling at an agreed meeting point in east London. They had been told to leave mobile devices at home so many were unaware until they actually arrived at the event, which was due to bring to life the hit film.
The organisers said they "regret the disappointment" and have offered refunds or alternative dates but have not explained why the opening was cancelled.
Disgruntled ticket-holders directed their disappointment to Secret Cinema's Facebook page with many complaining that they had spent hundreds of pounds to attend, with travel and accommodation costs, only to learn at the last moment that it had been pulled.
One woman wrote: "I cannot begin to tell you how devastated and disgusted I am. Thank you for ruining my husband's birthday and making a pregnant woman cry."
Some said they had come from overseas and were unable to attend later performances.
One ticket holder said: "I have six friends who left their phones in their hotel like you told them to. Combined cost of train, hotel, entry £1000+."
And another wrote: "After telling people that mobile phones and similar devices would not be allowed on site, how many people do you think were at Hackney Wick clueless to the fact you sent an email with less than a couple of hours notice informing of cancellation? Not really a smart move."
The event was billed as recreating the setting for the 1985 hit movie starring Michael J Fox, with fans dressing up in 1950s period costumes and attending the "Enchantment Under The Sea" prom, as well as watching a screening of the film.
The shows had been seen as a hot ticket with thousands logging on to snap up more than 60,000 tickets online. They cost £53.50 for those aged 16-plus and family tickets cost £140.
The company said it had been "working diligently through the night" to ensure the event would open today and is due to let fans know later if it will go ahead.
Some writing on the Facebook page urged a little more perspective.
One said: "Issuing the same scathing attack as a million other people on a small company that has already apologised profusely is actually really lame. Suck it up guys. Have a drink and watch it at home. There are bigger things in the world to get upset about than missing a movie."
Ticket-holders faced further difficulties today when a statement which had been promised about the fate of tonight's performance failed to materialise at the proposed time of 11am.
It left many having to head to London not knowing if the show was to go ahead.
There have been suggestions that the cancellation of last night's opening and a preview on Wednesday were caused by the set being incomplete, which had also meant the location had yet to be passed for fire safety, although a spokeswoman for the event has yet to respond.
Photographs circulating online suggested the site in east London, close to the Olympic Stadium, was still under construction.