Underground Cinema: HOTEL

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The Secret Squirrel crew go above and beyond in setting the scene for Underground Cinema’s nights out at the movies. Previous highlights include recreating Casablanca’s Rick’s Café América in in a hangar (complete with World War II-era plane) and The Life of Brian’s Roman-occupied Judea in the sandy grounds of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, featuring live camels. But a new standard was set in Underground Cinema’s latest offering, with Melbourne’s iconic Windsor Hotel turned into The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Underground Cinema Hotel 1

Hotel guests decked out in their 1940s finest checked in and enjoyed the sumptuous feast, full bar and dancing in the Grand Ballroom. A quick walk down the hallway allowed guests to indulge their sweet tooth in the recreated Mendl’s Pâtisserie, complete with towers of pink pastry boxes, a chocolate fountain and plates of tiny desserts as if Agatha had made them herself.

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Lobby boys in perfectly-pressed purple uniforms later gathered guests to take us for stroll around the block to St Peter’s Church Hall, recreating the mountaintop monastery where Monsieur Gustave and Zero made their escape. Melbourne rain substituted alpine snow perfectly. Monks settled guests into their seats for the film and ensured our glasses were full. Kudos to the Underground Cinemas actors remaining in full character when I sneezed in the front row and a monk blessed me profusely; divine intervention which I’m convinced cured my hay fever.

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Wes Anderson’s witty, adventurous, cinematic romp which looks good enough to eat was the perfect end to Underground Cinema’s 2018 season. If the Secret Squirrel’s Immersive Cinema season starring with Dirty Dancing is anything to go by, 2019 looks just as unmissable.    

See more about the regular Underground Cinema sessions at their website

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