I just want to start by saying if you’re really into either Riot Games’ League of Legends, or Netflix’s animated series “Arcane,” you HAVE to go visit Secret Cinema’s fully-immersive event in Los Angeles. When I say fully-immersive, I mean pretty darn fully. You’ll be able to visit and become a citizen of Piltover and Zaun!
Working knowledge of this world isn’t strictly required, but it does certainly help.
Once you purchase tickets for this special experience (two different price tiers of General Admission and Premiere), you’ll be required to set up an online profile via The Undercity. There is a test of skills, which will help determine what faction (and job) you’ll have. I ended up part of the Children Of Zaun as a shimmer dealer (but don’t tell the authorities that!). You’ll even be directed as to what color you should wear. Highly encourage you follow this suggestion, it’ll make it easier to spot other members of your crew while inside.
On arrival, you’ll be processed by Enforcers, sporting the iconic blue and gold armor. No cellphones are allowed inside the experience, so be prepared to lock those up in the provided storage. Music blasts from every direction, strobes and other lighting effects are almost constantly in use, and costumed actors inhabit their characters.
You’ll be expected to remember key things- your crew, who runs it, what you do, and some other tidbits. I won’t want to spoil too much (but you can see a daylight walk through of the area on Riot’s official YouTube here) of what you’ll encounter, but do your best to pay attention to these things as much as possible. (But seriously, getting escorted across the foggy bridge was my absolute favorite part.)
All photos by Annie Lesser, courtesy of SecretCinema.
While in The Undercity, you’ll have assignments. This is largely dependent on just how involved you want to be. Maybe you just want to stroll around the area and appreciate a Johnny Walker cocktail at The Last Drop, or a snack at The Lanes.
But for the more “Arcane” experience, go on shimmer-related missions from Silco, dance with Jinx, get into fights with Vi, and avoid arrest by Logan.
The entire experience is roughly 2 hours, with various performances happening throughout. Keep an eye on the various walkways and stair cases for action, and stay out of the fights that break out.
Things to know before you go:
You will be asked to show proof of vaccination. If you are not fully vaccinated, you will be asked to leave. The experience is recommended for those 16 and up. If you want to enjoy cocktails and adult spirits, you will need to show your ID, and wear the appropriate wristband. You can purchase parking passes, but ride share is highly suggested to get to the location (which won’t be shared with you til the day of your experience).
There is a lot theatrical smoke, loud music, strobe lights, even some raves that spontaneously happen. If you are someone with sensitivity to any of those things, maybe you’ll want to skip this.
The only real criticism about the experience I have is entirely fixable- some of the actors need to be reminded to speak louder, especially when giving their crew important information and directions. There were a few times where key things were missed because of this. And it wasn’t due to “this is a secret bit of info,” it was seriously just someone not understanding how to project in their lab.
So, if you’re a fan of League of Legends, “Arcane” (which Netflix just renewed for a second season), Riot Games, and/or Secret Cinema, this is absolutely worth your time. The experience is currently slated to run through December 19th, 2021. Learn more and get tickets here.