The curtain has gone up on a unique style of cinema where the patrons enjoy their movies from shared hot tubs.
Throughout September, a large decorated rooftop, in Hackney, East London, complete with Moroccan-style tents and 14 portable spas, was transformed into the Hot Tub Cinema.
On arrival, guests, who pay an average of £22 per visit, are given a free glass of champagne to help shed their inhibitions as they strip off to costumes or in some case underwear, to share the unique movie and spa experience, more than often, with complete strangers.
There are three ‘cosy’ tubs – nicknamed the ’ghetto’ by punters – where up to eight cram in side by side. There are four ‘spacious’ spas, designed for no more than six apiece and the rest are for group hire of up to eight people, at £200 a time.
As well as the 14 portable spas, the cinema lays food and drinks bar brought to you in the comfort of your hot tub by bar staff. Sold out at every event, numbers have doubled since the first showing, with up to 100 people taking to the tubs every weekend.
“It’s a genuinely unique combination of experiences. The film gives it all focus – without it, you just have a hot tub on a roof,” says Asher Charman, the 27-year-old founder of Hot Tub Cinema, who so far has resisted screening obvious titles such as Jaws, Splash or the Hot Tub Time Machine.
Asher’s idea started small as he pointed a projector out the kitchen window, onto a bed sheet hung on the washing line, while he and some friends enjoyed a soak in the hot tub.
“The result was unanimous – we have to do this again!In the intervening six years we’ve purchased an increasing number of new tubs upgraded our projector and worked tirelessly to find perfect venues to share our unique experience,” Asher continues. lEARnIng CuRVE “Developing a concept such as Hot Tub Cinema certainly brings with it a unique learning curve for perfecting the speed and precision with which we can clean, fill, chemical dose and empty a dozen hot tubs.
“We’ve actually got it perfected now and we can run events every 24 hours, with our skilled staff able to achieve all of the above in time for the tubs to be fresh and hot each night! “It comes down to perfecting each process, documenting it, and ensuring all staff are confident with their roles.”
Asher and his team are now developing plans to share their idea with likeminded people throughout the UK, Europe and beyond!They are currently gearing up for an Autumn season, with plans for a winter tour already in their early stages.
He says: “It’s the audiences that make it all worthwhile. Sharing our favourite hobby of hot tubbing, favourite films, and favourite places with such great people is brilliant and they all bring something unique to each night… we’ve even had a birthday conga of nearly 100 people in their swimwear, set to the backdrop of London’s unmatched skyline!”
Hot Tub Cinema