Event specialist Secret Cinema has been forced to cancel the opening of its latest production just hours before its launch due to “licensing reasons”.
The show’s organisers posted on Twitter last night: “It is with great regret we announced the cancellation of tonight’s @secretcinema performance. We have contacted all ticket holders.”
This weekend’s performances have also been cancelled, according to parent company Future Shorts.
A statement released this afternoon said: “We have been prevented from opening our latest production, due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control regarding the building we are using”.
Scroll down for full statements
Set to take part in the London borough of Croydon, the sold out event would have marked the launch of the 20th Secret Cinema production, which has recently included a screenings of The Shawshank Redemption and Prometheus.
As with many Secret Cinema events, it would have included theatre and roleplay ahead of the screening of a film that has been kept a closely guarded secret.
It was due to run from Thursday to Sunday into May.
Secret Cinema’s Facebook page was flooded with complaints.
The “most-liked” comment was from Mark McDermott who said: “I was due to travel all the way from Old Street for this. What the hell!! Who is going to refund my potential £1.20 expenditure on my Oyster card?! I had also especially cleaned my clothes for this event!! Is anyone going to give me that fucking persil tablet back?! Jesus.”
However, Becky Ahmed defended the organisation and said: “Some of these comments are a bit harsh - I think it’s a fair assumption that they wouldn’t have cancelled unless there was absolutely no other choice and that this was the first opportunity to inform people about the issue.”
Rowan Hoban also supported Secret Cinema and said: “Gutted of course, but something has clearly occurred today beyond their control. We’ve come from Manchester, paid for a hotel etc etc, but the SC people outside were devastated and beyond apologetic. They do a marvellous thing, and we hope that they get it sorted soon. These things happen.”
Statement to ticket holders [Apr 25]
URGENT – CANCELLED EVENT
Dear Secret Cinema Ticket Holder,
We regret to inform you that as a result of licensing reasons outside of our control, we have been required to cancel tonight’s Secret Cinema performance.
We sincerely apologise for this last minute cancellation and for the inconvenience this will be causing you – we were very much looking forward to welcoming you to the opening night and are extremely disappointed that this is not going ahead as planned.
Our immediate priority is to inform everyone expecting to attend tonight that the show has unfortunately been cancelled. We will, however, be contacting everyone affected by the cancellation in the next couple of days to offer either a full refund or the chance to attend another date in the current run. We fully intend to make up for the disappointment this cancellation has caused.
We understand that this is hugely disappointing and we will do everything we can to accommodate your wishes. We very much hope that you will be able to enjoy Secret Cinema together with us.
Again, we are deeply sorry to notify you at this late notice. We assure you that we are working as quickly as we can to rectify these exceptional circumstances.
Updated statement [Apr 26]
Secret Cinema Cancellations 25th – 28th April 2013
Secret Cinema sincerely apologise to all ticket holders for yesterday’s late announcement of the cancellation of shows. We have been prevented from opening our latest production, due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control regarding the building we are using.
It is heart-breaking having to cancel the opening weekend and we are currently working very closely with all of the local authorities, who are all very supportive, to resolve the issues and launch the production as soon as possible. We will continue to do our utmost best under such difficult circumstances.
All affected ticket holders have been contacted by Secret Cinema.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding.