London cinema brings classic films to life, if fans can find it

Last Updated Aug 21, 2015 9:37 AM EDT

LONDON -- Dressed in full costume, inside a mystery location that cannot be revealed, CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata was transported to a galaxy far, far away: Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine.

The world was brought to life by Secret Cinema founder Fabien Riggall.

"We want the audience to feel like: What does it feel like to be Luke Skywalker, taken from his farm and thrust into this deep adventure and quest," Riggall said.

Secret Cinema is part movie theater, part film set, part amusement park and part immersive, wraparound theater, D'Agata reports.

Its production of The Empire Strikes Back, spread across an 18-acre set, is the company's most ambitious project to date.

"This is really true (to the set)," Riggall said. "I mean, this is the back streets of Tatooine. Here you have aliens following you. Here you have all kinds of Jawas trying to sell you stuff and trying to steal stuff from you."

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Secret Cinema Presents Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Marianne Chua

The whole idea is to make a movie set come alive, D'Agata reports. The audience isn't just encouraged to play their role. It's expected to interact with the actors and become part of the performance.

"You're not the target," said a realistic looking Boba Fett as he pointed a gun at a young boy. "But if you get in my way, you're dead."

Keeping the venue a secret is part of Rigall's mission to wow the audience and recapture the magic of a time when going to the movies wasn't a trip to a soulless multiplex, but an experience in itself.

Rigall came up with the idea for Secret Cinema when he went to a movie on his own at 11 years old.

"Suddenly, instead of just watching the film, I felt like I was inside the film," Rigall said. "I realized that, as a child, there is no difference between the fiction and the reality, and I think everything has grown up to be a little too strained, too dull."

Previous productions include Back to the Future, where Rigall turned a disused patch of ground in east London into 1955 Hill Valley, and followed Marty Mcfly through time and space, complete with the time-travelling Delorean.

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Secret Cinema Presents Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Paul Cochrane

Then, audience members were also told to get into character, not just costumes. Blurring the lines between reality, fiction, actors and audience, the iconic movie scenes weren't staged; they just happened, D'Agata reports.

"What i'm interested in," Rigall said, "is the idea that there is no stage. There is no catwalk. There is no performance or audience. It's all one."

But there is a dark side, D'Agata reports. Building a Death Star doesn't come cheap, and ticket prices for Secret Cinema events verge on the astronomical: About $115.

Despite the price, the screenings are drawing more rebels, mercenaries and storm troopers than you can shake a light saber at: A season audience of 120,000.

As for when secret cinema pops up in the United States? Well, telling would spoil the surprise.

"We know when it's going to start, but we want to hopefully create a mystery and build up the anticipation," Rigall said. "We will launch in the U.S. in a secret city sometime in the next six months."

Secret Cinema Presents Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back runs in London until Sept. 27.

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Secret Cinema Presents Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Will Cooper