Weird cinemas: The most unusual places to munch popcorn

From a Welsh caravan to Guantanamo Bay, Chris Evans reveals some of the world's weirdest cinemas

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

A captive audience

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

Floating in paradise

Imagine floating on a raft at sea in total darkness, with a jungle backdrop and towering rocks either side… Now place a cinema screen into this dramatic 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 the local lobster fishermen's rafts, Scheeren and his team 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. The cinema made an appearance at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale.

www.buro-os.com/archipelago_cinema/

Event Cornwall Outdoor Screenings

Ferry fun and forest frights

Event Cornwall kicked off 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,” Amy Weeks, of Event Cornwall says. “Likewise for a screening of Perfect Storm last year, it poured with rain. It's like a 4D cinematic experience.”

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 couldn't 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.

www.eventcornwall.co.uk

Sol Cinema, South Wales

A mini adventure

Based in South Wales, but able to travel anywhere in the world, the Sol Cinema is a caravan that includes a red carpet, popcorn, an usher and enough space to squeeze in up to 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.

Audience members 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, including Glastonbury festival, where they showed a 60-second version of Harry Potter. “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,” concludes O'Connor.

www.thesolcinema.org

Paris treetop screenings

An epic adventure

If it's childlike wonder or nostalgia you're after then it doesn't 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, Managing Director of RealD Europe, 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

The living dead

Thousands of people flock to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery each year with deckchairs and picnic baskets to watch Hollywood classics like Rebel Without a Cause on a screen projected onto 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 like The Shining and Halloween, but it's best not to go alone.

cinespia.org

CGV Cheongdam Cine City, South Korea

Sensory overload

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, Russia, and more countries.

www.cgv.co.kr

Kino Pionier 1909 cinema, Poland

Pioneers

The world's oldest continuously-running cinema, this in Szcecin, Poland, has withstood two world wars, and anti-communist revolts, to remain standing.

“I actually discovered documents that say the first film was shown in 1907, so it's even older than first thought,” Jerzy Miskiewicz, co-owner of the cinema says.

Featuring two quaint little screening rooms, one in a relaxed cafe/bar area with tables and chairs, the cinema hasn't changed much in more than 100 years, but did receive some restoration work in 2002, including the installation of new technology and comforts.

www.kino-pionier.com.pl

Cine Thisio, Greece

Acropolis action

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.

cine-thisio.gr

Golden Village Cinema, Singapore

First class

This is 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, should you get peckish.

The concierge service also includes a personalised phone-booking service, collection of movie tickets, transport to and from the cinema, and private party arrangements. But it's not cheap, and you do need to add on the airfare.

www.gv.com.sg

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum