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Wapping’s Tobacco Dock is a Secret Cinema location

Wapping’s Tobacco Dock is a Secret Cinema location

The secret Wapping cinema location was revealed last night when an estimated 2,000 people met at Wapping overground Station at 6.30pm.

“Unknown cultural movement” banners were carried by marchers up Wapping Lane to banjos, violins, singing and dancing as the crowd was directed to Tobacco Dock.

Cinema goers picked up newspapers dated Friday 11th February 1948 where front page news was “The Battle for the Freedom to Create”.

Wapping’s Tobacco Dock wakes up

Residents on our Facebook Page noticed a 10th – 27th February licensing application posted on the gate outside Tobacco Dock last week.

Like Secret Cinema goers, we could only speculate what was happening as lanterns started appearing on the pirate ship outside Tobacco Dock a few days ago, but the reason became clear last night.

Secret Cinema Tobacco Dock 2011

Inside E1W’s Secret Cinema

The big question is, what was showing in Wapping’s new Secret Cinema at Tobacco Dock?

Secret Petit Cinema Tobacco Dock

Unique and changing the way we watch films; but like the name says the showing must remain secret…

Live for the moment

“Dream, create, play, act, paint , write” were the instructions from 1948 newspaper “Unknown Movement”.

Jolly fairground music played in the background and talented musicians accompanied amazing performances in rooms spread across Grade 1 listed Tobacco Dock’s two floors.

Secret Cinema Tobacco Dock

Secret Cinema Tobacco Dock Wapping

Secret Cinema Tobacco Dock

Secret Cinema Tobacco Dock

Dressed to impress and above a pile of sticky black tar hidden in a corner, even the skeleton looked elegant with his toes pointed.

The future for Wapping’s Tobacco Dock

Tobacco Dock was last alive during the 2010 International Tatoo Convention in September having been dormant for most of the year, but how much longer can it sleep?

Alternative uses have been debated for years, but now look more likely than ever. A Tobacco Dock Hotel and a home for the new Wapping High School are both under discussion.

What about the Wapping Residents?

Apart from the initial march down Wapping Lane around 6.30pm the event doesn’t seem to have caused a problem for residents so far.

Secret Cinema Tobacco DockThere were more complaints this week about construction lorries at 21 Wapping Lane leaving their engines running outside flats than than any mention of noise yesterday.

This morning Tobacco Dock is sleeping again and the boundries boarded up. But activity at the Secret Cinema will continue until 27th February according to the licensing application.

Wapping thoughts?

What do you think about the secret Tobacco Dock location?

Did you experienced any noise issues or disturbances from the event?

Do you like the Secret Cinema?

Farewell Secret Cinema

The last showing has now taken place and the secret can be revealed.

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  • http://www.whatsinwapping.co.uk What’s in Wapping

    The last showing has now taken place and the secret can be revealed

  • Alf Garnet Street

    I went last night, and it was fantastic. I felt proud and privileged to have such an inspiring event on my doorstep. Secret Cinema can take up residence in Tobacco Dock, as far as I’m concerned. My only sadness was that such a vast and fascinating building is hardly ever used.

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  • Scot

    What nonsense. I live on Wapping High Street and there is another bus stop only a minute walk away. If you really had a problem with the crowd you only had to walk away. I have found all of the visitors to be polite and it can only be a good thing for Wapping to have people using Tobacco Dock again.

  • Anthony

    I live also live on Discovery Walk right opposite the event and have had very few issues, apart from being shouted at quite abruptly by a steward to stay on the path while trying to walk against the flow on Wapping Lane (impossible). I made it clear I was a local resident trying to get home and he couldn’t apologise enough.

    I support the artists’ studios idea for putting Tobacco Dock into use. As selfish as it sounds, I moved to Wapping several months ago specifically for the peace and quiet it offered. To suddenly have a secondary school and the associated disruption next door would frustrate me a lot! That said, I don’t plan to oppose the school, I understand the social benefits far outweigh my little complaints!

  • Jon Aldenton

    I entered the free Guardian competition. Shows what a wishy washy liberal I am…

  • Sue

    We live right opposite Tobacco Dock on Discovery Walk and had no problem with either noise or the people attending – we went ourselves and it was fantastic seeing Tobacco Dock in use. I would echo Jon’s suggestion that this would be a great place for artists’ studios. And to those of you not happy about the additional people coming into Wapping what do you think it will be like when 21 Wapping Lane is built?!

  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    how do you win tickets Jon? :)

  • Guido

    I live in Wapping and saw the march down Wapping Lane around 6.45. I loved the crowd and it’s great the UCM attracts so many people. It’s a shame that Tobacco Dock hasn’t been used for so many years. Guido

  • Jon Aldenton

    At the consultation organised by the Turk’s Head Company on the local development plan and attended by more than 50 local residents, there was strong support for turning Tobacco Dock into artist’s studios and related uses.

    This sort of event brings a positive use to the long vacant space and it needs to be brought into a sustainable use. Perhaps the current owners are more open to bring it alive than when we approached them previously. Well done Secret Cinema- I’m really glad to have won two tickets for next Tuesday night!

  • Russell ‘CJ’ Duffy

    Not sure what I think. I love the idea of Tobacco Dock being used again rather than sit vacant but as a cinema? It could work and why not? Personally, I still think the idea of having a Covent Garden type facility would have been better but at least this will enliven things a bit in Wapping. Not sue though that Wapping wants to be enlivened as it and its residents enjoy the peaceful charm of the place.

  • K0k0

    Good to see Tobacco Dock being used. Wapping could do with a few more events.

  • Anonymous

    “Pushing people off the sidewalk?” “very brutally?” Odd, i was there twice and didn’t see any such behaviour at all. And to compare the people attending this event with football hooligans is nonsense. Yes it has been noisy by the Greenbank estate (where I live) and Wapping Lane but nothing outrageous.

  • Joern

    While I basically do like cultural activities very much, I must say the behavior of some people dressed up in those vintage style fashion was miserable, pushing people off the boardwalk, very brutally.
    One would expect that people just behave gently, in the nice way they dressed up, especially for such an event. Instead noise and attitude was a lot like football hooligan style, while admittedly this certainly does not apply for all.

  • Matthew

    As I drove Past Tobacco dock early last Friday eve, I was pleasantly surprised to see the activities, a girl walking along the line of visitors playing the violin. I wanted to stop and join in. It’s great that Wapping can be a venue for such an art event!

    Matthew (Greenwich resident)

  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    unfortunately I think some residents will only be happy when there’s a wall around Wapping and people have to show a residents ID when entering. I for one welcome events such as this and stuff at Wapping Project that bring people here from all over London.

    Sorry for your less than warm welcome Steve.

  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    good to see people coming to Wapping. Nice to have a bit of life in the place and it’s not like it was going till 3 am or anything!!

    I first saw a couple of people dressed slightly ‘vintage’ looking at the map outside the tube. Then there was a lone banjo player playing down Wapping Lane. Only with a bit of googling did I realise where and what they were here for….

  • Steve

    The residents of Wapping seem to have taken to this event very well, as I followed the Secret Cinema crowd from the Station to Tobacco Docks, we were pelted with raw eggs from the windows of the Wapping Wharves apartments. THank you.

  • Jane W

    I went to the secret cinema and Wapping for the first time yesterday and can highly recommend both.
    On the whole I’d say everyone was pretty well behaved but I can understand why the residents could get a bit ***’d off. Anyway, I hope it goes well as it’s an amazing event and I’m please to see that this website unlike others online haven’t spoiled the surprise for those who will be going in the next couple of weeks!

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  • Haha

    it seemed like it was for a good cause…but there was just too much noise

  • Haha

    its not exactly a secret

  • Oz

    Hi.. I was at Wapping Station at 6.30 pm waiting for a bus with my 3 year old daughter, I found it very unconfortable having tens of people around the bus stop, they treated the place as if it belonged to them, couple of them almost pushed my daghter to the street without looking.. it might be fun for them , but waiting for a bus for 20 minutes, trying to protect my daughter so she wouldn’t get pushed to the road was a torture!