‘Sham’ VIP Grease movie experience prompts Leeds audience complaints

Technical problems hit the cinema screening.
Technical problems hit the cinema screening.
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IT was billed as a VIP film experience in an iconic Leeds studio but customers who donned their Pink Ladies outfits had an unforgettable night for all the wrong reasons.

And two weeks on from The Grease Movie Experience, a number of them are still chasing organisers Two Guys Productions Limited for refunds.

Promotional material had promised that they would be transported to Rydell High School in 1969, the setting of the much-loved musical.

But the pop-up cinema in a soundstage at Kirkstall’s Studio 81 left much to be desired, with complaints about the “naff paper cup of fizzy, warm wine” on arrival, a bar made from pallets of wood and food that had been paid for not arriving.

Jason Rafferty, 41, is among those pursuing a refund after going to the first of five screenings on June 30 and July 1.

“I know you do these things on a budget but this was as if they had broken into the building,” he said. “It certainly wasn’t VIP in any way, shape or form.”

A scene from Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.

A scene from Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.

And things went from bad to worse, with disappointing live dance numbers, poor sound quality and problems with the projector’s power supply halting the screening for a time.

Answering the criticisms, the company said staff had responded swiftly to technical issues during the screening, offered refunds on food after power problems affected the catering and aimed to offer a fun experience for under £15.

Nick Green, of Two Guys, told the YEP: “This is not a fly-by-night business. Nobody wants these things to happen but when it does, you fix it.

“Even with that power outage, people did love it. There were lots of happy people, cheering and singing.”

It certainly wasn’t VIP in any way, shape or form.

Jason Rafferty, unhappy customer

He said that for a few pounds more than an Odeon ticket, they offered a “really good show”.

“If you ask nine out of 10 customers, they would say the same thing.”

But customer Davina Harwood, 49, said: “People had used their hard earned money to come along to enjoy this evening but almost everyone there was disappointed.”

She said it had been a “sham” from the start and she was still waiting for a refund.

Studio 81 in Kirkstall.

Studio 81 in Kirkstall.

What was promised?

The Grease Movie Experience was billed as a chance to watch the film on a giant screen with live action surprises during the event and an exclusive VIP bar with unique cocktail menu.

Tickets, priced £14.99, include VIP movie ticket, complimentary fizz on arrival, a premium seat, and exclusive cocktail bar and iconic venue on real soundstage.

Promotional material described a ‘romantic setting, huge movie screen, amazing cocktails, great food and some special live surprises’.