We don’t normally start with a Finally-type of story, but this one is just too amazing to leave to the end. A cinema built and abandoned in the Sinai desert, with a story that is worthy of a film by Werner Herzog or a scene from Lost.
This extraordinary outdoor cinema was captured by Kaupo Kikkas, an award-winning Estonian photographer who explains the story as he heard it. After running it through Google translate from his Estonian website, this is what I gathered from his account of what happened to the abandoned cinema of the Sinai… Firstly, it hasn’t been around that long. Kaupo says it was installed “somewhere in the beginning of this millennium”. And it wasn’t built by Egyptians but rather one crazy Frenchman. As the story goes, this unnamed Frenchman, who likes to smoke a lot of cannabis (and presumably has a bit of money to throw around), was hanging out in the Sinai desert one day with his friends and decided that the one thing the place was missing was … a movie theatre! (Duh).
Be sure to click the LINK to Messy Nessy Chic to see all the photos and read the entire remarkable story.
Digital Death Watch
UK (N. Ireland): East Belfast’s Strand Cinema will be transformed into an arts centre with the help of a £40,000 loan from Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT). But what on earth is Chief Executive in right of the picture holding?
The famous art deco building – which incorporated shipyard influences from the nearby Harland & Wolff, including porthole windows and lighting – first opened its doors as a cinema in 1935. Due to a lack of modern projectors, the cinema had not been able to show the newest movies but has now received new projectors, marking the start of a wider refurbishment project combining new technology with the traditional fabric of the building. LINK
USA: An art-centre in Miami has also upgraded to 2K and surround sound thanks to a grant.
Three years ago, an independent theater called O Cinema opened in the Wynwood Arts District with the hope of bringing independent and foreign films to Miami’s urban core. This year, the theater celebrates its surprising success with new programming and upgrades that will give it a greater sense of permanence in the community. Co-founders Kareem Tabsch and Vivian Marthell had the idea to create what is now O Cinema back in 2008. Thanks in large part to a $400,0000 grant by the Knight Foundation through the Knight Arts Challenge program, they were able to execute their ambitious plans to build an independent theater in Wynwood, but the project was not without difficulties. LINK
USA: ArcLight Cinema has announced that it will start developing original content for the big screen and the small one (i.e. online).
The L.A.-based luxury cinema chain will co-produce footage of red carpet premieres, press junkets and other behind-the-scenes interviews with people in the industry and feature these clips on its website and in theaters before movie showings. The cinema will also promote the footage on its Twitter account. In February, ArcLight partnered with production company Mid-Century Media, started by former CNN entertainment correspondent JD Cargill, to begin developing the content. LINK