Vintage Cinema, Hellfire Caves

The Vintage Cinema Does The Matrix

The whole concept of ‘pop-up’ is just great. Pop-up shops, pop-up dining, and now pop-up cinema!

This weekend we went to a film experience run by The Vintage Cinema, which was held at The Hellfire Caves in High Wycombe. Not your usual Friday night out, but certainly one with a difference.

If you haven’t heard of the Hellfire Caves, then the history is definitely worth a read. The caves are well known for rather questionable activities undertaken by the Knights of Sr Frances Dashwood, or ‘The Hellfire Club” in the 18th Century. Their rituals were said to be pagan, with sacrifices to deities, satan worship and the odd orgy thrown in here and there. What better place to go and watch a late night movie.

The Hellfire Caves

By all accounts the Vintage Cinema team generally choose this venue for their slightly ‘creepier’ films, but we got off quite lightly this time I think, as our screening of choice was late 90’s classic “The Matrix”. Their website suggested that it would be a themed evening, so we were all invited politely to dress up in the Matrix style if we wanted to. Easy enough…black outfit, long black coat and sunglasses. Done.

It did turn out that most people hadn’t dressed up, but had chosen to wrap up warmly instead. They had obviously been before! There was a small collection of serious Matrix fans there though who’d really gone for it, even bringing along toy guns. The NRA would’ve been proud.

Once through the impressive entranceway to the caves, we wandered deeper and deeper into the cold, dark depths, through many winding tunnels. All we could hear was the gravel crunching beneath our feet, the condensation dripping down the walls, and the odd flutter of bat wings above us.

The Hellfire Caves

Just as we turned the corner to the Inner Temple, a shadowy figure stepped out in front of us, nearly making me drop my wine! (Did I mention they have wine? THEY HAVE WINE!)

It was Neo.

“Where are you going?” he asked

“Um……we were told to follow the white rabbit” I told him

Obviously impressed with my extensive, geeky knowledge of the The Matrix he let us pass, with the advice to take the blue pill!

Once inside the Temple, we were ushered to our mega-comfy bean bag seats by an Agent Smith lookalike. The Temple was cold, and dark, and dank, which are three of my least favourite things, but thanks to the great seating, close proximity to our neighbours, blankets and popcorn (supplied by the Vintage Cinema team) you barely even notice.

The Hellfire Caves, Vintage Cinema

Half way through the film, you do feel the cold starting to creep in a little bit, but the team take this into account and provide an Intermission so you can restock on drinks and pop to the loo. I say ‘pop’ but its a long lonely trek back to the toilets at the entrance, so only go if you have to, particularly if you’re on your own…’s creepy!

Back in the Temple for the second half, after another run in with Neo in the tunnels (Man alive, that guy is silent on his feet!), we enjoyed the rest of the film in comfort, munching on our bacon and maple syrup popcorn and remembering just how cool a concept The Matrix was.

So, all in all, a great night out. Something a little bit different than your regular night at the Odeon, and who wouldn’t want to bump into a Keanu Reeves lookalike down a dark alleyway?

Just one question though…..I wonder if they’ve ever thought of showing “Eyes Wide Shut” in those caves. The outfits would be easy AND warm, as long as the cloaks stay on!!!!

Maybe it’s a bit too close to home!?

The Hellfire Caves


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