Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
While the self-confessed architect of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, sits in his closely guarded prison cell in the world’s most notorious detention centre, just the other side of the wall US soldiers can watch Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center on a huge cinema screen. There are two outdoor cinemas within Guantanamo Bay for the 1 000-strong guard force and people who live and work there. They show the latest US releases on huge grass areas about the size of a football pitch with tiered stadium seats.
The Archipelago Cinema, Thailand
Imagine floating on a raft at sea in total darkness, with a jungle backdrop and towering rocks. Now place a cinema screen into this landscape. Designed by German-born, Beijing-based architect Ole Scheeren, the Archipelago Cinema was created specifically for the Film On The Rocks Yao Noi Festival in Thailand last year.
“When I saw the beauty of the Nai Pi Lae lagoon, I thought it would be amazing if the audience could float on the ocean while watching movies,” Scheeren says.
Inspired by local lobster fishermen’s rafts, Scheeren created a huge floating device made from recycled wood where the audience sits on bean bags watching an enormous screen secured to the ocean floor.
Event Cornwall Outdoor Screenings
Event Cornwall started its outdoor screenings in 2009 with water-themed films shown on a ferry as part of the Truro & Penwith College Fal River Festival. The audience was hooked from the first screening of Jaws.
“During that film, there was a lone fisherman’s boat that circled the ferry with one light on, which added to the eerie ambience.”
This was taken to the extreme in Tehidy Woods, Camborne. “There was a moment in Friday the 13th where there was a chase sequence through the woods, and you could not see where the screen stopped and the woods started. It was really eerie,” says Weeks.
Other dramatic screenings have included Point Break on Godrevy Head, overlooking surfing beaches, and Top Gun in the Skybus hangar of Newquay Cornwall airport.
Sol Cinema, South Wales
Based in South Wales, but able to travel, the Sol Cinema is a caravan that includes a red carpet, popcorn, an usher and enough space for 16 people.
The “World’s Smallest Solar Movie Theatre” is the brainchild of Paul O’Connor and Jo Furlong. “We wanted to give important exposure to short films, but also have fun parodying mainstream cinema,” O’Connor says.
The audience can choose the type of short film they want to see for their allotted 10 minutes, grab a ticket and a bag of popcorn and enjoy the show. The team have travelled to several events. “We’re now trying to organise a tour across Europe, and want to use the caravan as a projector to show films on a big screen outdoors,” says O’Connor.
Paris treetop screenings
If it is childlike wonder or nostalgia you are after, then it does not come much better than sitting on a specially built mesh platform in the treetops of a Parisian forest to watch the fantasy adventure film Epic in 3D.
“The structure was a real feat of organisation and imagination, intended to immerse viewers deep into the 3D world of Epic,” says Bob Mayson, the managing director of RealD Europe, the co-creators of the event with Fox Studios and Garnier. “When the audience ascended up the rope ladders and found themselves in a fully functioning cinema right in the heart of nature, you could see the wonder in their eyes.”
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Thousands of people flock to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery each year with deckchairs and picnic baskets to watch Hollywood classics such as Rebel Without a Cause on a screen projected on to the side of a mausoleum. But this is no ordinary mausoleum, it contains the remains of silent-film legend Rudolph Valentino and Oscar-winning actor Peter Finch.
The cemetery screenings are intended to encourage a different interaction between cemeteries and the public. For the more adventurous there are late-night screenings of horror films such as The Shining and Halloween, but it is best not to go alone.
CGV Cheongdam Cine City, South Korea
The Cheongdam Cine City in Seoul takes the cinematic viewing experience to new levels with moving seats, special lighting, wind, fog and even scent-based effects to make you feel immersed in the film.
For a recent screening of Titanic, the audience got to “go down with the ship” as their seats were tilted, mist was created, and sea-scented water was sprayed. This 4DX experience is catching on as there are now similar cinemas across Mexico, China, Thailand, and Russia.
Kino Pionier 1909 cinema, Poland
The world’s oldest continuously-running cinema (it is in Szcecin, Poland), has withstood two world wars, and anti-communist revolts.
Featuring two quaint little screening rooms, one in a relaxed cafe/bar area with tables and chairs, it has not changed much in more than 100 years, but did receive some restoration work in 2002, including the installation of new technology and comforts.
Cine Thisio, Greece
The Cine Thisio is the oldest outdoor cinema in Athens, set up in 1935, but what makes it really unique are the stunning views of the Acropolis and Parthenon, which look particularly impressive lit up at night.
The cinema also attracts big name stars, including Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy for the premiere of Before Midnight.
Golden Village Cinema, Singapore
The ultimate in luxury, there are 56 reclining armchair seats and theatre staff on hand at the touch of a button to pour you a wine and supply you with exquisite Peranakan cuisine.
The concierge service also includes, collection of movie tickets, transport to and from the cinema, and private party arrangements.
But it is not cheap.
www.gv.com.sg – The Independent