Going to the movies has been a favorite pastime of ours for years and years, but in this modern era of high-speed internet and streaming services like Netflix, these old establishments have had to step up their game to keep patrons interested. From gimmicky auditoriums to floating platforms in tropical paradises, these are some of the most amazing and awe-inspiring cinema theaters you can find around the globe.
1. A CHAIN OF THEATERS INSIDE SHIPPING CONTAINERS
Russian film company Teterin Film promoted this new chain of cinemas that aims to provide access to small-sized Russian towns with no access to one. An estimated 668 towns with a combined 50 million population will now have access to international and local movies with a reduced ticket price, thanks to the money they’ll save by building cinemas inside these containers. These small rooms have 5 screens inside of them and can be built in only two weeks.
2. THE ARCHIPELAGO CINEMA
German architect Ole Schereen wanted to create “a sense of temporality, randomness, almost like driftwood.” This open-air floating cinema is his vision come to life. Located in the middle of a lagoon in the Strait of Malacca, it stays afloat thanks to pockets of wood strung together with mosquito nets. The beautiful vista is what seals the deal. If you wanted to experience it however, it’s too late now, as the cinema has been permanently closed.
3. THE LUNA CINEMA IS ALL ABOUT LOCATION
This outdoor cinema in the UK finds the best locations in the city and takes you there after hours to enjoy a movie while you’re having your own little picnic. You get to enjoy the view while also paying attention to the screen. Some of their venues they have used for this incredible service have been Kensington Palace, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, the Tower of London, Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath, and the Sky Garden at the top of the Walkie Talkie. One of their most famous screenings was ‘Jaws’ at Brockwell Lido, with VIP seats in dinghies on the pool.
4. HOT TUB MOVIE THEATER
Another UK initiative, Hot Tub Cinema allows you to live large as you watch your favorite movie from an inflatable hot tub that can hold up to 6 people. They’re based in 4 cities, London, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester. They even have waiters that come up to your tub and can “service your every whim.”
5. SOL CINEMA IS YOUR OWN PRIVATE PLACE
If you don’t like those overcrowded screenings in big name theaters, then the Sol Cinema might be for you. Paul O’ Connor is the co-owner of this 1965 Morris Minor camper that’s been retrofitted to be an 8-seat marvel of ingenuity. It runs on solar power, uses a projector and they even serve popcorn during intermissions.
6. THE CINEMA AT THE END OF THE WORLD
A Frenchman at the turn of the century had lots of cash but wasn’t right in the head, so he decided to open up this cinema in the middle of Egypt’s Sinai desert. Unfortunately, no movie was ever shown here, as rumors has it that government officials did not like the idea, and during opening night the generator that would power the projectors was “accidentally” cut off. A true mystery if there ever was one.
7. A 50S-THEMED CINEMA BY DISNEY
The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant is a part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, inside Walt Disney World in Florida. Modeled after a cinema of the 1950s, they serve traditional American cuisine and has you sitting in a classic car of those years. But you can always order some popcorn if you don’t feel like trying food from that era.
8. LA PENICHE, THE SILVER SCREEN INSIDE A BOAT
A must-go place for aspiring directors and producers, La Peniche is a cinema inside a moored boat in the l’Oucq canal of the Parc de la Villete. It has gained that reputation because of its movie lineup that consist of off-beat films and shorts, and they even offer film-making courses. Fun trivia fact: “Peniche” means canal boat in French.
9. THE LIGHTHOUSE CINEMA IS THE PINNACLE OF DESIGN
If you wanted to see an example of good taste and brilliant design, look no further than to the Lighthouse Cinema. With 4 different screening rooms, this moviehouse was designed by DTA Architects, an award-winning company from Dublin. Your eyes might be on the screen when the movie is playing, but you’ll certainly notice the rest of the cinema on your way in and out.
10. KID-FRIENDLY THEATERS IN CALIFORNIA
The whole point of taking your kid to the movies is for them to be entertained, but some of those little buggers might need something extra to keep quiet and have a good time. Enter Cinépolis USA, a chain that opened in Southern California that features vibrant colors and huge playgrounds right next to the screen. Your kids might be entertained now, but we don’t imagine you can shush them much while they play in front of the screen.