Immersive cinema has been all the rage for a number of years now. There are a plethora of options out there from screenings in disused railway tunnels and others where dressing up is compulsory. Backyard Cinema’s Lost World strikes the right balance where you don’t have to pay a fortune to watch an old film and spend hours sourcing out a costume, but still offers an unusual and quirky surrounding for you to enjoy classic jungle-themed films.
It is situated in the increasingly trendy SoBo area (south of Borough). It is part of the Mercato Metropolitano complex, which used to be the site of a disused paper factory. There are small, artisanal food stalls, bakery, fishmongers, supermarket and many activities such as musical performances and free pizza-making classes for children.
When you enter Lost World, what strikes you first is the amount of detail they have gone into in creating this vibrant, tree-perfect jungle environment. The lady welcoming you looks exactly like the attendant out of Jurassic Park. The entrance feels like you are walking into a Hollywood film set and there is more than just a mountain of foliage; the lighting, the sound effects have all been carefully designed. You even have to walk through fake foam boulders to get into the cinema itself.
You might worry about how comfortable bean bags are for cinema watching, but I can safely report they are actually more relaxing than the premium seats at top cinema chains. I was worried that the extras like the giant skull, the pillars, the fairy lights might distract from the cinema viewing experience, but it actually enhances the whole enterprise given the films they show have some form of jungle connection.
They have a fully licensed bar serving meantime beers, wines and jungle-themed cocktails, as well as typical cinema offerings like popcorn and sweets.
There have a fine selection of classic films like The Lion King, Jumanji, The Goonies as well as relatively more modern films such as Finding Dory and The Legend of Tarzan.