Sarah Atkinson
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Helen W. Kennedy
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Secret Cinema and the immersive experience industry
in Secret Cinema and the immersive experience economy
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This introductory chapter presents SC as an organisation of considerable national significance for the UK and demonstrates their global reach and influence. Situating SC as central to the immersive sector in the UK and the experience economy more broadly, we present our immersive experience industry ecosystem model – a model of the cultural and industrial ecosystem which supports the creation of immersive experiences. We evidence a rapid evolution of immersive organisations, experiences and formats in the UK in 2019. We argue that these are hybrid forms, crossing over nine key areas: cinema, festivals, theme parks and attractions, games, immersive technologies, brand agencies, television, theatre and performing arts, and hospitality. This model traces the influential moments and the key industrial practices that have both shaped the emergence of our case study example and influenced the formation of a definable and describable immersive ‘sector’. We outline the histories and trajectories of immersive experiences, our approach and method, outline the six chapters that follow and provide an important contextual note on SC and secrecy.

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