The organisers have given disappointed ticket holders no reason for their decision, bar insisting it was down to “unavoidable circumstances beyond our control”.
Fans were preparing to gather at 5.15pm at Hackney Wick station in London before being whisked to a secret location.
The company has released the following statement: “We are devastated to make this announcement and sincerely apologise for having to announce it at this late a stage.
“We are working tirelessly to make sure that this spectacular event will go ahead tomorrow evening. We will be in touch at 11am tomorrow morning with a further statement for all attending guests.”
URGENT: Tonight's Secret Cinema presents Back to the Future performance is CANCELLED. All tickets holders will receive an email with more...— secretcinema (@secretcinema) July 24, 2014
Those who had booked to attend the opening night will be able to use their tickets for another screening and be given priority.
Last night, the Back to the Future preview screening was also scrapped just an hour before it was scheduled to start.
Fans have reacted angrily on social media, particularly those who had booked travel and hotels to attend the event.
Hey Secret Cinema, why are you cancelling your first date? What are you, chicken?— Andrew Jones (@EthanRunt) July 24, 2014
#SecretCinema cancelled at late notice, to much anger. Watch out for angry Back To The Future fans roaming the wilds of Hackney.— James Walsh (@jamesofwalsh) July 24, 2014
Every time I hear about Secret Cinema, it puts me off ever wanting to go to one of their overpriced events. They sound underwhelming at best— julia (@d0gbones) July 24, 2014
Secret Cinema cancelled 1 hour before. Didn't find out til we got there. They also told people not to bring phones beforehand. Classy. >_<— Martin Taylor (@mousenator) July 24, 2014
So after all that messing about, and 10 mins after I leave work with a million things to do, they cancel tonight's BTTF Secret Cinema.— Stephen Ackroyd (@stephenackroyd) July 24, 2014
Secret Cinema cancel Back To The Future opening night with 2hrs notice. Ouch. Look out for swarms of angry people in 50s gear in East London— Andrew Ewart (@AndrewEwartDVD) July 24, 2014
Great Scott! Secret Cinema have just cancelled Back to the Future with only 90mins notice. The complaints are coming in at 88mph.— Kirk Rutter (@Kirk_Rutter) July 24, 2014
@secretcinema have just cancelled tonights Back to the Future event. We'd come all the way from Edinburgh. Want to have a wee cry.— Colin Maginnis (@ilostitatthe) July 24, 2014
Secret Cinema has grown into a mecca for film lovers who enjoy the mysterious and immersive experience it offers.
Their biggest production to date, Back to the Future sold 17,000 tickets in the first four minutes of sale. To date, more than 66,000 tickets have been shifted.
Founder Fabien Riggall spoke to The Independent earlier this month about the hype surrounding the Back to the Future event.
“When we first started doing the bigger shows it was harder to keep the level of interactivity,” he said.
“But I am really confident that this time we’re going to nail it. As long as we keep the integrity and the spirit of what we’re doing, and as long as I hold onto that and keep fighting for that, we’ll be fine.”
Whether fans will agree that Riggall has “nailed it” after this latest news seems in doubt.