By Ken Hegan for MSN Travel

Strip to your trunks and get wet, hot, and entertained.

That’s the brilliant concept behind Hot Tub Cinema, where you watch movies while soaking in an East London rooftop hot tub.

Hot tubbing

On their Facebook page, Hot Tub Cinema is described as “London’s unique cinematic experience. Combining unbridled passion for cinema with the wickedly indulgent experience of a hot tub. Taking your favourite films to new heights of fun.”

Swimsuit-clad cinephiles can rub bare elbows in one of 12 hot tubs heated to 40 degrees Celsius. Depending on your budget, you can pick from three types of tubs: ‘Cosy’ costs £25 for single ticket ($39.70) with 8 people sharing, ‘Spacious’ gives you a 6-person soak for £30 single ticket ($47.63), and £220 ($349.23) gets you a private tub with premium view for 8 people.
Everyone gets a spectacular view of the London skyline. As the sun sets, everyone is handed a glass of champagne. And to ensure a party mood, there’s usually somebody dressed as a mascot.
The movie choice is often a last-minute surprise but past films include Top Gun, Zoolander, Wayne’s World, Back to the Future, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Anchorman.
Hot Tub Cinema mascotDuring the film, drinks flow like the whiskers on Ron Burgundy’s moustache. So expect to see bikini-clad filmgoers dance in their tubs and splash their neighbours. Some movie-goers even do a relay race, hopping in and out of every tub on the roof.It’s just the kind of swinging party that San Diego anchorman Ron Burgundy would enjoy.
I asked one of the event organizers, Asher Charman, why he started Hot Tub Cinema.
“Starting Hot Tub Cinema didn’t feel like decision – once I had “invented” and experienced it myself, I couldn’t help but want to share it with as many people as possible,” he wrote. “I first discovered how great hot tubs are about seven years ago (they’re not so commonplace here in the UK!).”

The event started organically in his backyard garden.

“I already owned a projector for showing films – another passion of mine, and it didn’t take long to realise I could enjoy both of these at once!” he said.

In an interview with Reuters, he added, “We wanted to watch a movie, we wanted to use the hot tub, and we just thought why don’t we project it out the kitchen window onto a bed sheet on the washing line and see what the results will be, and that was how it was born.”

Hot Tub Cinema AnchormanCharman and his friends were soon watching movies from the comfort of four inflatable hot tubs. Then they decided to kick it up a notch. They’ve partnered with a private members club called Netil360 which gave them a rooftop to play on. Then Charman and his crew acquired a movie projector and a movie screen, and Hot Tub Cinema came to life.

It’s certainly a rare opportunity to get wet, hot and tipsy while watching a Hollywood movie. And when the credits roll, the party keeps raging into the night. They’ve even had a 100-person conga line with everyone dancing in their swimsuits.

If you’ll be in London this September, take the splash. Tickets are limited, and you can book your hot seat here. They’re also planning a UK/European tour and intend to expand their hot tube regime into North America.

Just hope they don’t show scary drowning films like Casino Royale, What Lies Beneath, Fatal Attraction, The Guardian, The Perfect Storm, Titanic, The Abyss, or Cape Fear.

— Ken Hegan

 

Photos/info: hottubcinema.com

VIDEO: watch this news report on Hot Tub Cinema

Read all Ken’s travel stories here

Twitter: @KenHegan

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