A WREXHAM cinema is taking film fans on a magical mystery tour of the movie world.
They’ll buy their tickets and settle into their seats at the Odeon in Eagles Meadow but right up until the curtain rises they won’t have a clue about exactly what film they’ve come to see.
But what they can be sure of, according to Odeon manager Kenny Kempster, is that it will be a brand new blockbuster likely to be having its first ever public UK screening.
The Odeon believes it is the first big cinema chain in the country to launch a novel new way of watching top movies – called Screen Unseen – and is currently trialling the idea at around 20 selected cinemas.
The Eagles Meadow Odeon will have its latest Screen Unseen showing on Monday, December 1, and Kenny said even he hadn’t yet got a clue what it was likely to be.
He said: “It’s something really different which all the team here at Eagles Meadow are very excited about.
“Our cinema guests books their seats, either in advance online or by phone, or at our box office on the day, without knowing what they are coming along to see.
“In fact, we keep the title a strict secret right up to the point when the film actually begins to roll. But what we can absolutely guarantee is that it will be a big blockbuster movie which is likely to be having its public premiere.
“In effect we’re asking people to buy a ticket `blind’ but I think our audiences know they can trust our judgment as the Odeon has been entertaining the nation for over 80 years, so we know what we’re doing when it comes to film.
“We had our first Screen Unseen show a few weeks ago when the film was Nightcrawler starring Jake Gyllenhaal, an intense thriller about the high-speed world of Los Angeles crime journalism.
“Although it’s now in general release, the Eagles Meadow audience were amongst the first to see it in the UK – and they weren’t disappointed.
“One lady came over to me afterwards and said the Screen Unseen idea had taken her right back to her younger days when she used to go regularly to the cinema not knowing in advance what was showing but enjoying every minute of it.
“The whole thing is a bit quirky and a bit different from what we normally do at the Odeon but the idea behind it is to get mainstream audiences to come and see the films they wouldn’t usually watch but which turn out to be absolutely amazing.
“The team themselves are kept in the dark about the film we’re to show until a couple of days beforehand, so what we’re presenting next could be anything really,” he explained.
“What we are sure of is that it will be something that is not your typical Hollywood fare. These are films that are edgy, intriguing, controversial, thought-provoking, maybe even challenging – but never ordinary.
“They’re films that people will be talking about for weeks, months, years to come. Films that stay with you long after the credits have rolled.
“Just think how great if our cinema guests could go home and tell their friends that they’ve been to the Odeon at Eagles Meadow to see a film like, for instance, the new Hobbit two or three weeks before anyone else.
“We’re offering the Screen Unseen films at a specially discounted price and tickets for the show on December 1, which starts at 8.15pm, will be just £5.
“We think this is a brilliant way to enjoy a fantastic movie and the idea is to have at least one Screen Unseen showing every couple of months.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley added: “I think this is an absolutely brilliant idea, the cinema equivalent of pick ‘n’ mix.”