Secret Cinema Presents raises £11,000 for Mind

Experiential film company Secret Cinema Presents has raised more £11,000 for mental health charity Mind, after it organised a series of one-off global screenings of the 1989 film Dead Poets Society starring Robin Williams.

Fans of Williams watch the film at the Seaport in New York
Fans of Williams watch the film at the Seaport in New York

The screenings, which were held as a dedication to the late actor Robin Williams, began as a one-off event at the Troxy in east London on 15 August. However, after Secret Cinema encouraged other charity screenings to be held simultaneously, events sprang up throughout the UK, Europe and the US.

Will Poole, events and compliance manager at the Troxy, explained how everything had to come together for the event in just three days. "A production meeting was held the morning before the event to agree the logistics and AV requirements," he said. "The Secret Cinema team arrived on site at 8am on Friday, following which we had a 90 minute planning meeting to sign off the immersive experience and walked through the plan for the evening.
"The event recreated the tunnels in the basement with groups of 20 guests being taken down to attend the poetry readings by torchlight and culminated with the audience standing on chairs and desks at the key point at the end of the film. There was also a candle lit vigil to Robin Williams, which was signed off in agreement to our health and safety conditions."

Other UK venues hosting the screenings included Matthew’s Yard in Croydon, Flying Duck in Glasgow, Leaf in Liverpool, Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, The Strand in Belfast and the Cinema Society in Newcastle. More than 3,000 people attended.

Faye Millar, sales and marketing manager at Victoria Warehouse, told Event: "It was a huge success, not only because hundreds of people registered to come and get involved just 24 hours from the announcement, but more so because of the amazing reach our event achieved for the project and the charity via social media channels and in the Manchester media.

"We are huge admirers of the events that Secret Cinema currently put on in London and were approached by their team late last week to see if we'd want to get involved. We were delighted to pay tribute to Robin Williams, and extremely keen to raise money and awareness for the charity Mind."


Grid in Prague, Czech Republic, also held a screening, encouraging visitors to dress up in school uniform.

On Saturday (16 August), American venues South Street Seaport in Manhattan, Hudson Basicalla in Upstate New York and Videology in Brooklyn announced they would host screenings of the film in partnership with Secret Cinema on 17 August.

Profits from ticketed events over the globe were donated to Mind, while free events encouraged movie-goers to send a £3 donation via text.

Secret Cinema said in a statement on Facebook: "Thank you to all of those who came tonight to pay tribute to a beautiful human being and an important cause. We applaud the spirit of those who stood up and took part in this event."

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