Friday, 29 August 2014

Welcome to Hill Valley

I've been to The Ink & Paint Club and The Grand Budapest Hotel and now, I've been to Hill Valley, thanks to the Future Cinema and Secret Cinema gang.

They truly have out done themselves this time. When the Back to the Future tickets went up for sale no would have guessed the trauma when the event was cancelled for the first few night (rumoured there were rights issues) and the amazement when people saw the pictures, they built an entire town, Hill Valley.

Everyone knew where it was, the clock tower could been seen from far around. Apart email from all the prospective stores in the town, all set in the 50s, just like the film. We all got dressed up in as 50s gear as we could and adopted our town identities.

The journey began when we were told to meet at a certain station, from there we were greeted and shown the way by several people with red sashes. Our first marker on route was a sign saying 'Hill Valley 2 miles'. This was the exact same distance that Marty McFly himself from the film had to walk when he had to first crashed landed in the time machine in the 1950s.

We could see the Clock Tower in the distance and the excitement mounted. We were greeted by other towns folk, police mixed with real security and the shown through the Peabody's Farm, complete with adorable sheep, goats and a folk band singing about guests who stood out. Luckily we decided not to bring our phones so we got to bypass the 'checking in phones and cameras' part. Although at the end of the event, there wasn't a huge queue to collect them.

We walked part way round the perimeter of the town with a 'Hill Valley 1 mile' sign to guide us. We were on Sycamore Street in no time, walking past the giant billboard for Lyons Estates and happy to acquire some beers for the walk around the houses. Each house was dressed up as one of the main characters homes, including the Tannens, McFlys, Baines' and the Doc's house. Past the latter house, we entered into the town, just like the film, complete with green grass in the square, high school, diner, many shops and of course the gigantic clock tower. I could hear 'Mr Sandman' play as we stepped in.

Although no phones or cameras were allowed to used, we were allowed to buy (from the friendly sellers in the town) a disposable camera which, I'm glad we bought as there was so much to see. Who knows if the photos will come out.

I was so excited. I know it sounds cheesy but it was like walking onto a film set. Every time one of the main characters were spotted it was great, mostly because we can interact with and not be told to go away. I really wanted to go to the funfair and eat candy floss, my brother in law wanted to eat the cheeseburger at the diner and my sister wanted to go the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. We did it all and more.

We saw the Texaco boys play games with some guests and later up in the main stage singing 'Goodnight Sweetheart'. We got told off for jaywalking and got talking to a very enthusiastic lady (part of the event). I convinced my sister to go on the ferris wheel first - before eating. It was an amazing view and even though I got a little freaked out when they were taking people off for the next ride, I still loved it.

We had a look in the school and watched one of the bands who were 'auditioning'. Looked in on the shops next door and bought some Tab, a clear version of Coca Cola. Not to my taste but it was all in the fun of the 80s. Throughout the evening 50s tunes were playing out on the 'radio' but not long before the film, the 80s burst out in the form of skateboarders and rollerblades high-fiving the crowds.

We ate out burgers in the diner and they weren't half bad but my sister was a tad disappointed with her milkshake. I was just excited t see Lou and Goldie Wilson, the mayor to be of the town, in the diner.

In fact whenever a character, from the 50s, appeared near by it was just exciting. All through the evening we were trying to spot the Doc and Marty. At first it was difficult as there were plenty of people dressed up at 80s Marty. But, once we found a spot on the green, were about to set off to look around more, we spotted him, acting just like Michael J Fox. It was Marty! Doc appeared later, wondering around the town followed by a huge group of followers.

We made it to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance and my sister and my brother in law got to dance to Earth Angel, just like they did at their wedding a few weeks ago. It was very crowded though, we stayed for a couple of songs then moved on. In the cinema they were actually playing the film, The Cattle Queen of Montana and the radio was broadcasting to the whole town, they were even taking guest callers. I was going to say something but I missed my chance.

The post office was also fully functioning, with post men and women delivering messages to guests. Behind the 50s stores and hairdressers, we ventured into the 80s. A bar serving cocktails and a live band. There was even a small pool table and they were selling Marty McFly's signature red puffer jacket. We bought cocktails and enjoyed them on the green while we watched the Hill Valley parade.

The Mayor and the radio DJ introduced Marvin Berry and the Starlighters where they played some familiar tunes, including The Power of Love, with Marty on lead guitar. It was a fantastic intro to the film. The fun didn't stop there. Scenes from the film were played out in front of us live, including scenes featuring the time machine and the Doc, zip wiring from the Clock Tower. It was just brilliant. Loved every minute of it. And I got to eat candy floss.


  1. OMG! I heard about this and would have LOVED to go! BTTF is one of my all time favorite movies, so glad to read about your experience! Thank you for sharing! xx

    1. It was so much fun! The Secret Cinema events are amazing, they go all out. Can't wait for the next one x