Secret Cinema, the London-based immersive entertainment company, has been acquired by TodayTix of the U.S. plans for a national tour Stateside in 2023 and a permanent location in LA.
Financial terms weren’t disclosed but a person familiar with the deal — which just closed — said it was worth just over $100 million.
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The company has sold over a million tickets to more than 50 shows, secured a multi-year, multi-title deal with Disney (kicking off with Guardians of the Galaxy), and produced experiences with major movie studios including Marvel, Universal, Paramount, Lionsgate, Sony, Netflix and Eon Productions. Its latest shows have attracted large audiences, with Casino Royale reaching over 100,000 in London, and its collaboration with Netflix, Stranger Things, drawing over 300,000 people in its first Los Angeles production. Its productions let costumed audience members become active participants in the storylines, often in a melding of music, art, theater and dance.
TodayTix, which bills itself as “the global e-commerce leader for cultural experiences,” will provide technology, audience insights and expertise to help Secret Cinema expand geographically and creatively grow its offerings and audience, the announcement said.
Secret Cinema, led by CEO Max Alexander, will retain its leadership team, and its brands and businesses will operate separately.
The partners will focus on geographic expansion. To date, Secret Cinema has mostly operated in the UK, apart from Casino Royale in Shanghai and Arcane and Stranger Things in Los Angeles. This deal will allow Secret Cinema to fuel its international growth, led by the U.S.
In terms of format, Secret Cinema will expand from short-term shows to creating open-ended theatrical runs. It is also looking for a permanent location in London.
Secret Cinemas was founded in 2007 by Fabien Riggall. It’s been owned by the London-based consumer-focused investment firm Active Partners since 2016. Since its founding, it’s moved from grassroots film screenings in abandoned London buildings to large-scale productions with “360° participatory Secret Worlds where the boundaries between performer and audience, set and reality are constantly shifting.”
Productions include Stranger Things, Casino Royale, Blade Runner, Back to the Future, Star Wars and Alien, Bridgerton, Arcane (League of Legends) — its first title based on a video game, Ghost Busters: The Gates of Gozer, its first digital-only show; and Dirty Dancing. Guardians of the Galaxy, the company’s first major Disney title, is now playing in London.
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