IT PROMISES to be a far cry from the traditional hot dog, popcorn and soft drink experience at the multiplex.
And it is likely to give film fans a whole new taste of their favourite flick – no matter how many times they have savoured it before.
A new “multi-sensory cinema experience”, to be launched in Edinburgh to coincide with the festive season, will see traditional cinema snacks replaced by fancy nibbles and trendy cocktails – which audiences will be urged to tuck into at certain moments as the action unfolds.
The food and drink events company behind the new venture says the “bite-sized food” and cocktails will be specially tailored to match at least half a dozen scenes in each film to help audiences “immerse” themselves in the big-screen experience.
Edinburgh-based Jelly & Gin, which entrepreneurs Carol Soutar and Aoife Behan formed two years ago to create “unforgettable edible adventures”, hopes to make the events a regular cinematic fixture in the capital.
It has joined forces with the National Galleries of Scotland and award-winning catering and restaurant firm Contini to create the Watch and Wolf nights, which will be held every Thursday in the run-up to Christmas.
Although three classic festive films – Elf, The Wizard of Oz and Gremlins – have been chosen for the venture, the events will be strictly adults only.
Film fans will be handed a gift box on arrival at the gallery, which will contain numbered pre-wrapped items that they will be signalled to eat or drink at designated moments during the film by the event’s host.
The Watch and Wolf events reflect a growing trend for unusual film screenings and experiences.
The Glasgow Film Festival has held events on the Tall Ship on the Clyde, in a tunnel deep below Central Station and at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
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A series of food-inspired screenings were staged at the city’s former fishmarket, which was converted into a “pop-up” cinema and cafe.
Jelly & Gin and Contini, which runs the Scottish Cafe and Restaurant at the Scottish National Gallery, are keeping the exact contents of the boxes firmly under wraps until each night gets underway.
However, for those film fans keen to curb their festive excesses, non-alcoholic options will be available, as well as a selection of eats suitable for vegetarians.
With a £30-a-head price tag, the events – which are being held in the lecture theatre of the Scottish National Gallery – do not come cheap and film fans are being warned not to expect “a full meal”.
However, Jelly & Gin – which is selling 199 tickets for each Watch and Wolf night – has already had success with previous “sensory experience” events in the city.
At the Edinburgh International Science Festival in April, it staged a “theatrical dining experience”, featuring food and drink producers, artists and scientists.
During the first national Whisky Month, in May, it transformed a former milk factory in Leith, using lighting, projection, sound and scent effects in four different parts of the building to accompany different flavoured tastings.
Soutar said: “The idea for Watch and Wolf came about after we had an approach from the National Galleries with a view to running a food-related event in one of their spaces and we had been wanting to do an edible cinema event for some time, but we didn’t realise they had film screening facilities.
“Their lecture theatre has 199 seats and we’ve had a great response since tickets went on sale. We’re hoping to do Watch and Wolf again if these first events go well, although not necessarily in the same venue as we try to ensure all our events are new.
“Even if fans of the films have seen them many times before and know them really well, this event will be about experiencing them completely differently.
“We don’t really want to give too much away on the specifics of what people will be eating and drinking during each film, but let’s just say they won’t always be straightforward. There will be also be a bit of rustling and crunching going on.”
Jennie Ferguson, events manager at Contini Edinburgh said: “The team have come up with some fabulous ideas that will be tasty, fun and a bit of a surprise as well. Wolf and Watch is an opportunity not to be missed this December.”
Jenny Inglis, hospitality and events officer at the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to be able to showcase our excellent film screening facilities with such an innovative event, and allow visitors to enjoy some festive film watching in a unique and creative way.”
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