ORGANISERS of an “immersive” Home Alone film experience in Glasgow have been forced to dish out refunds after the event was branded a “shambolic rip-off.”

Dozens of people who attended the screening of the popular 1990 Christmas film at SWG3 on Friday night blasted bosses for a disastrous experience.

Complaints included the screening starting later than advertised, audiences having to queue outside in freezing weather and a low-quality immersive experience.

The Evening Times had previously reported how excitement was building in the run up to the unusual event, where organisers - Alternative Cinema Sessions firm Masq Events - promised a “cinema experience like no other.”

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They also said “no expense” was spared as punters were charged up to almost £23 per ticket.

The event information on the SWG3 site said: “Expect a fully immersive event, where attendees not only watch the movie, but they experience it and live in that moment.

“A full sensory experience where you’re able to touch, taste and smell this world! Every fine detail is crafted to exactly replicate this classic movie and no expense is spared.

“The evening begins with your hosts introducing the evening, the cast and the performers. Whether you wish to completely take part or simply watch from afar, all preferences are catered for.”

Free popcorn all night was also promised to audiences.

However, judging by online complaints, the event didn’t go as planned.

One woman took aim at organisers and said: “The event ticket price and advertising led us to believe this would be a very special way to start our Christmas celebrations.”

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However, she added: “As it turned out, the event details stated start time of 7pm so we arrived at 6.30 in time to get good seats. The reality was that we were left waiting in the freezing sleet for 30 minutes because it was doors open at 7pm rather than start time of 7pm. We only found this out through security staff on the door.

“We were a family with children and 81-year old grandad who finds it hard to keep warm and who, by the time we eventually were let in, was shaking uncontrollably and had to be given a brandy to recover.

“The immersive experience like no other on Scotland’s biggest indoor screen was a farce. The screen was three screens of average quality but with the volume turned up too high, so it deafened anyone sitting near a speaker. I would be surprised if this volume was within the legal limit for children.

“The immersive element of some water being squirted, feathers being thrown and some dodgy actors running about added nothing to to film and was, frankly, embarrassing.

“Free popcorn all night was advertised, so we didn’t bring any. In reality, this was a few snack-sized bags thrown into the audience. There weren’t enough bags to go round.

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“In short, this fell far short of expectations. Families spent on average £80 to £100 on this event and, for many, was a major event to kick-start Christmas.”

Other audience members said they walked out during the screening with one woman added: “Terrible. The venue was badly organised too, making people wait outside in appalling weather for ages. The actual event was shockingly bad, not as described at all.”

SWG3 since confirmed on behalf of the organisers that refunds have been given out to all.

The Evening Times understands SWG3 will not be working with Masq Events in the future having been left disappointed with how the event turned out.

A spokeswoman for the West End arts venue told us: “We have worked with Masq Events on a number of occasions and have always been satisfied with the quality of their screenings.

“On this occasion, however, the event did not deliver and we have therefore arranged for all attendees to be fully refunded by the organisers.”