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Into the film – Immersive and Interactive theatre production

Immersive and Interactive theatre production
Premieres August 4th Santa Monica

By: Judy Shields

Directors office

Los Angeles California (The Hollywood Times) 8/1/17 – “We have been working on this idea for the past year. Figuring out which movie we wanted to start off with and gather a team to help us put it together.” Erik Geffner-Mihlsten told The Hollywood Times during a phone interview.

Experience the Phantom of the Opera Like Never Before!

Erik, Alena & Alex

Erik Geffner-Mihlsten also said “Phantom of the opera is a timeless tale and everybody from different generations, know a version of some sort of Phantom of the Opera, some people know the 1925 Lon Chaney version, which we absolutely love. And some people know the 1986 musical and in between those there are different other ones.”

Phantom of the Opera 1925

“My siblings and I are the co-founders of this, my sister Alena and brother Alex. We have always enjoyed movies and have over hundred DVDs in our house.  Conversations with us tend to be movie quotes. Our family motto is “never give up, never surrender.”  We are very competitive people and we love murder mystery parties and escape room interactions. So, we thought, there is nothing that takes you to the world of a movie. A physical space for people to experience and there are so many options. How many movies have you watched and thought of how you would love to be a part of that. So that was what sort of inspired us. Let’s do it and create an experience around a great movie.”

“This is so much more than a movie screening. Instead of just going to watch a movie, you actually get to go and be a part of it, as if you are a character of that world. There are going to be actors there and while you might be solving, say a puzzle, enjoying a drink, you can also be interacting and talking with the actors and with other guests.”

“Then you get to sit and watch the movie.  There will be live scoring with musicians playing along with the film, which we thought would be real cool way to continue the immersive element of the first two hours prior to the movie instead of just sitting down to watch the movie.”


Erik said that Richard Holland was the driving force behind the vision and what the sets are going to look like.  “I’m so excited for everyone to see it, I have seen the drawings of the set. Erik said.


For the next two weekends at the Historical Woman’s Club of Santa Monica.

The most exciting thing is, that you can come in costume for that era and what would you wear to the opera.  Dress up and come be part of the movie Phantom of the Opera.


Get a group of friends together and come out for an experience you will be talking about for years to come.  Do a girls’ night out and get all dressed up and have a grand time.

THT: Who is the team behind “Into The Film,” and what kind of experience do they have?

EGM: We have an incredible team at “Into The Film!”  This project wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without the team we have built here. At the base as co-founders there are my siblings; Alena and Alex.

Also running the show are Katie Kildahl and Richard Holland, who have been invaluable and fantastic to work with. Katie is our Associate Producer, but she wears another hat as our Production Manager and has a great background in show production.

Richard is our Creative Director. He has some incredible credits to his name that still blow me away. He was the Art Director for movies like Princess Bride and Batman & Robin. Plus he is British so you know he has to be cool.

Our writer is Mark Sonnenblick, who is one of the smartest and funniest people that I know. He’s responsible for developing everything as it relates to the experience and storyline. Our director, Andrea Ruffalo, has been instrumental in the casting and will be coordinating the experience on-site. She has a great vision of how the actors will be interacting with our guests! Finally our Sound Designer, Ed Holland, just moved here from London (another British accent on the team! Yay!) and has been responsible for figuring out all of the sound elements for the space. He also found the incredible musicians that will be playing the music in the event.”


An Invitation

Into The Film, an interactive entertainment company, brings its premiere production, “A Night at the Opera,” to Los Angeles. Guests will enter the world of Paris, during the 1880’s, and become a part of one the most renowned stories: The Phantom of the Opera. The immersive and interactive theatre experience will take place at the Historical Woman Club of Santa Monica (historicalwomanclubofsantamonica) during two weekends in August, from August 4th – 6th & 11th – 13th. Guests will not only participate in the drama of the original story, but they will also have the opportunity to create their own stories. Guests are requested to dress in modern evening attire or period costumes in order to truly be a part of the evening at the Opera.   The night concludes with a live-scored screening of the 1925 classic film, The Phantom of The Opera.  Ticket price for the 4 hour evening is $59.00 and can be purchased at

Basic character information will be sent in advance to all guests. Upon arrival, they will stroll through impeccably designed sets of the Opera, interact with characters from the film portrayed by experienced actors and follow their individual plot lines. Guests will engage in unique conversations with other guests and deepen the experience. Perhaps a guest or two may have the unfortunate experience of “meeting” the Phantom. No two experiences will be the same.

Hollywood production designer and art director Richard Holland serves as creative director for the event. Holland’s film credits include Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Princess Bride and Labyrinth, to name a few.

Into The Film, founded by The GM’s LLC, is dedicated to providing in-depth and immersive movie going adventures. By combining film with theatre, Into The Film guests will have the unique experience of participating and socializing as if they are a part of the production, prior to the movie screening.

Tickets:   $59.00 per person

Dates:              Friday, August 4th – 7:30pm
Saturday, August 5th – 6:30pm
Sunday, August 6th – 6:30pm

Friday, August 11th – 7:30pm
Saturday, August 12th – 6:30pm
Sunday, August 13th – 6:30pm

Venue info:   Historical Woman Club of Santa Monica

1210 4th Street, Santa Monica CA