“You are creating a memory”

Alexandra Rens from Cinema Paradiso (Spain)

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Alexandra Rens, Cinema Paradiso, Ibiza (Spain)

What is the name of the exact location here?
It is the Baluard de Sant Pere in Dalt Vila, the Old Town of Ibiza.

It is a fantastic setting you have got here for outdoor cinema, could you explain us a little bit about the location and what it is that your company does?
We are Cinema Paradiso Ibiza and we are an outdoor cinema, which goes to different places on the island. We have a private concept where we set up in villas, as small, intimate outdoor cinemas, and then we have the public outdoor cinemas like here. We go to different beaches and squares in Ibiza, but this has to be our favourite place to set it up. We are here every Thursday, in the middle of Dalt Vila. It is very special to set up a cinema on UNESCO heritage between the old city walls. We like it a lot, obviously. The acoustics are very nice.

What was it that drew you to this location?
When we first came to the island four years ago, we started talking with the local government about our plans. We wanted to bring a cultural addition to the island, so we looked at a couple of different locations with them and this one was immediately one of our favourites. It works very well, it is close to many restaurants etc., so people can go for a drink or they can have some dinner and then go to see a movie afterwards.

You mentioned that the business has been up for four years. Going back to the initial Start-Up period, what were the biggest challenges that you faced when you were setting up the business? And why did you go into this industry?
Well, the biggest first challenges were all the permits and convincing people of our concept. Today you see a set-up where we have chairs, but normally we use beanbags. We do a lot of decoration and we do a lot for the atmosphere. There are the really comfortable beanbags of our own design, there are little tables, and we have candles and lots of lighting. We wanted to create the most ideal setting to watch a movie. Very relaxed under the stars, with a lot of atmosphere. It is very romantic and a stylish cinema, which is very comfortable with blankets and everything. You can order something to drink, we make fresh popcorn and we have some fresh snacks. We had this idea in mind, but we had nothing to show, so we had to really convince people of what we wanted to do. That was a bit hard, especially for the first shows. We were telling people “You have to come, it’s something very unique on the island.” That was definitely a challenge. And then all the people who came were super surprised. We were as well surprised by the turnout. It is very unique for the island, because as you know, Ibiza is very much a party island and this is something different. In the beginning it was a challenge to convince people to do something else and to go to the cinema. They said “What? I’m on Ibiza, I’m not gonna watch a movie” and we said “Why not?” This is such a special place, it is a beautiful island and it is very nice to be outside and make use of this gorgeous space we have here.

Going back four years, you had the option to purchase any number of screens or other solutions. What was it that drew you to an AIRSCREEN and particularly to the product you have now?
We looked into a lot of different options, but AIRSCREEN has been around for a long time and is a bit German quality as well. We saw some videos and pictures and the one that really convinced me was one in the snow, because it is very durable. You also have a very clear video about how to set it up and it is a complete package. We bought the complete outdoor cinema set-up and it comes with everything, like perfect cases and a good manual. It is literally buying an outdoor cinema, it is not just the screen. It has good customer service as well and we have a personal relationship with AIRSCREEN, what we are very content with.

If you had to explain it to somebody, what is the best thing about your AIRSCREEN system and why did you chose to have the airtight and not the classic version with the running blower?
What we really like is that it is very durable and strong material and it is easy to set up. I have to admit that at the first time we thought, “How does this work?” and needed to read the manual and had some technical guys helping us. But once you get the hang of it, it is very easy. We had some very extreme weather conditions like very strong wind, but the screen stayed up. Everyone thought we had to cancel but we were convinced we could do it and in the end it worked out fine. I was a bit nervous sometimes, but it definitely worked out well.

What is your favourite film to show at an outdoor cinema?
I have to say, the one I really liked was Casa Blanca, which we did here as well. We had this whole setting with the black and white classic on the big screen, the great acoustics and the old city walls with the lights and candles. For me this was a complete picture, I really liked that one. The first show we did here was very special as well. It was a Mexican movie and there were many local people. We had been working on the concept for a while and were always in a local bar behind our laptops and invited everyone there. It was very nice to see everyone showing up and supporting us, that was very special.

And what is the best thing about working in the outdoor cinema industry? Four years is quite a long time, what makes you want to keep doing it?
The thing that I like the most is that we are not selling a movie or selling a ticket, we are selling an experience. As I said, Casa Blanca was one of my favourites and someone came up to me and said “I watched Casa Blanca in your outdoor cinema last year and I don’t like the movie, but I will never forget the setting and how I was in the beanbag with my boyfriend, that really made it special for me”. Of course we choose the ones that we like for our shows, but a movie is always personal, you do not need to love it. You are creating a memory. People go there with their friends, their families or their loved ones and they will always remember how they were here and saw a movie underneath the stars, outdoor on Ibiza.

If you could describe an outdoor cinema in three words, what would those three words be?
I believe that we offer the total package, a whole experience. Normally, I would say “movie under the stars”.

Coming to the end of this season now, what is the future for your company?
We are definitely going to stay here, it is going really well. We worked a lot with the local government this year. The shows that we do at the beach are very special, because those are three events. People come, have a picnic and a bottle of wine, they put their blankets out and there were candles. It was amazing to see. It was actually the beach close to our house and I was walking home thinking “I can’t believe we did this”. So we want to continue these three events with the local government, they were very pleased with it as well. We hope that we are on this location here for another season, but we are at other venues as well, like a couple of hotels for example. Actually, we have lots of plans, we also want to got to another country one day. Ideally, when it is winter here, we go somewhere else where it is summer. And we are thinking about something like a drive-in in winter.

Quickly back to the AIRSCREEN, in terms of set up time and durability, what is so good about having an AIRSCREEN, when it comes to taking it to all these different locations?
It is very mobile. As I said, we do squares, we do beaches and we use this location here. For our cinema, including all the beanbags, we have a big van, but the screen literally fits into our car, which is very easy. With the speakers and speaker stands it is as mobile as a cinema can be. And everything is very easy to set up. I love it that the screen is very high, so even if you are standing all the way at the back, you can still see it. It is the perfect size for us.

For somebody who is launching their own business, what would be your tips and what should they watch out for in the outdoor cinema industry?
I think the best tip would be “Just do it”, because that is what we did. We are from Holland and obviously you cannot do outdoor cinema there, because the weather is not that great. Imagine when we were telling our families and friends that we were going to do something different and that we had this new adventure in mind. We told them that we wanted to start an outdoor cinema in Spain they asked “What? Where in Spain?” and when we said Ibiza everyone thought that it was so random. I had never been here before, but we just did it. What else can you do? We did a bit of research before, but the best advice would be to just do it.

Do you have any feedback for AIRSCREEN or are there improvements you would like to see?
Not really, we are very content. We just need to have more screens to have even more cinemas, maybe one for the drive-in. That would be a bigger one, size does matter!

AIRSCREEN in idyllic surroundings at the José Ignacio International Film Festival

 

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The JIIFF is an international film festival that takes place in José Ignacio, Uruguay. The festival revolves around the screening of internationally recognized movies, in an environment where young people, families, residents and visitors of José Ignacio can share an enriching experience. From 6th – 15th January 2017, the seventh instalment of the JIIFF took place.

José Ignacio is a town that extends for several kilometres along the Atlantic Coast, nearby Punta del Este, a glamorous and busy playground often compared to St.-Tropez or Cannes. Even though José Ignacio has itself evolved into a true hot spot in Latin America, favoured by wealthy jet-setters from around the world, it has kept its old style and became a popular summer enclave and hideaway from enormous hotel chains, expensive shopping streets and loud nightclubs. The town appeals to those who prefer the wittingly bohemian. An informal atmosphere, hand-painted street signs, mom-and-pop boutiques and bed-and-breakfasts determine the picture. Although the region is rather recognized by its chefs, not by its artists, you can always discover a painter or sculptor in José Ignacio, who chose this particular environment as a workplace.

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With the ambition to enlarge the cultural offer of the town, a group of young entrepreneurs around director/programmer Fiona Pittaluga, programmer Pablo Mazzola and programmer Mariana Rubi, launched the José Ignacio International Film Festival seven years ago. The movies shown are not the typical commercial titles, but rather independent names like Harmonium by Kôji Fukada (Japan), Toni Erdmann by Maren Ade (Germany) and Kékszakállú by Gastón Solnicki (Argentina).

What makes the JIIFF particularly special is that all its movie screenings are happening outdoors. There are Pop-up cinemas directly at the beach, near the town, and at the old abandoned train station of Garzón, a few kilometres from José Ignacio. No problem with the AIRSCREEN mobile outdoor cinema systems, which were easily and quickly inflated and deflated where they were needed. The entrance of the festival is free and attracts hundreds of people from throughout the region, who travel to José Ignacio to see the movies in this idyllic environment. With for example around 500 people attending the screening of this years opening film Aquarius by Kleber Mendonça Filho (Brazil), the seventh instalment of the JIIFF was an unquestionable success.

AIRSCREEN as official exhibitor at Prolight + Sound Exhibition 2017

The AIRSCREEN Company is delighted to announce that it will be officially exhibiting at the Prolight + Sound Exhibition in Frankfurt from the 4th to the 7th of April 2017. A 40ft x 20ft (12m x 6m) AIRSCREEN inflatable movie screen will be on show at the Live Sound Arena (AG.0 C19/C21) for all visitors to admire. Anybody interested in the AIRSCREEN will have a great opportunity to see the screen live and up-close and talk to members of the AIRSCREEN team, who will be on hand to advise and answer any questions you may have.

AIRSCREEN Prolight and Sound

The Prolight + Sound exhibition is considered as the leading international trade fair for the event-technology sector and covers all products, trades and services. It is the international meeting point for exhibitors, purchasers and event organisers from all over the world. The AIRSCREEN Company looks forward to meeting and speaking to you and making your open-air movie dreams a reality.

Bumper turn out for drive-in movie event in the UK

The renaissance of the drive-in is well and truly under way….  The last few years have seen a stark increase in the number of drive-in cinema events happening across the UK. With more and more people becoming aware of the practicality of an inflatable AIRSCREEN for outdoor events, the drive-in is a great option for event organisers. This year was no exception and one of the highlights of this year’s drive-in programme took place in September, in a national park in the north of England. Clumber Park is a country park owned and operated by the National Trust in the UK and with 3,800 acres to play with, event organisers had enough space to setup an amazing drive-in cinema.

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For two nights, cult classics such as Grease and Dirty Dancing were shown to an audience of over 1000 cars. The production equipment provided to the organisers, UK Events came from Urban Entertainment, the UK partner of the AIRSCREEN Company. Their 12m x 6m (40ft x 20ft) inflatable AIRSCREEN ensured that the huge crowd all had a spectacular view under a blanket of stars. Spectators were also able to adjust their own volumes due to FM transmitters beaming the sound direct into car radios. Despite a cold autumn evening, spectators could set their climate control to the perfect temperature which resulted in many happy cinemagoers.

For more information on Urban Entertainment visit www.urbanentertainment.org.uk and for more information on the technology behind the inflatable AIRSCREEN visit www.airscreen.com.

The Galileo Open Air Cinema in Cape Town, South Africa

Set against the spectacular backdrop of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, The Galileo invites Cape Town locals and visitors to a memorable movie experience under a ceiling of stars. Cape Town’s only outdoor cinema uses an inflatable screen with a rear-projection surface to show a movie once a week.

Unique Open Air Cinema in South Africa
Unique Open Air Cinema in South Africa

Besides price-winning documentaries like “Food Inc.” or famous foreign films like “City of God”, visitors can watch some of their all-time favorites: “Forrest Gump”, “Pulp Fiction” or “E.T.” – just to name a few. Delicious snacks are also offered, blankets and chairs can be hired.

Cape Town's most beautiful cinema
Cape Town’s most beautiful cinema

More information about the Galileo can be found here

Dokufest in Prizren with movies under the stars

Dokufest, The International Documentary and Short Film Festival, is Kosovo’s premier film festival. The Festival is organized in July in the picturesque and historical town of Prizren which attracts numerous international and regional artists.

Outdoor movies with AIRSCREEN 24' x 13.5' (7,32m x 4,12m)
Outdoor movies with AIRSCREEN 24′ x 13.5′ (7,32m x 4,12m)

In this annually organized festival films are screened twice a day in three open air cinemas as well as in two regular cinemas. Except for its films, the festival is also well-known for lively nights after the screening. Various events happen within the scope of the festival: workshops, DokuPhoto exhibitions, festival camping, concerts, which altogether turn the city into a charming place to be.

Dokufest in Prizren, Kosovo
Dokufest in Prizren, Kosovo

Photos: Tobias Strahl

The History of Open-Air Cinema

One may be inclined to think that open-air cinemas are a relatively new invention; this couldn’t be further from the truth! So let’s take a look at the history of open-air cinema. In 1895 the Lumière Brothers became the first people to step into this world with the invention of cinematography.  From this invention came the name ‘Cinema’ which is the word still used today. At the time this device was being used, it was only possible to show films of up to one minute in length. At the start of the 20th century these ‘living photographs’ as they were known, were to be seen in variety halls and theatres, it wasn’t until 1907 that the first moving cinema was created.

Travelling Cinema in 1907
Travelling Cinema in 1907

The moving cinemas however didn’t last long. They couldn’t keep up with what the movie theatres could offer which was more comfort and more choice. The oldest and longest running open-air cinema is to be found in Australia. Since 1916 ‘Sun Pictures’ have been organising open-air cinema events and cinema evenings. The fact that this open-air cinema has been the longest running in history isn’t just appreciated by the thousands of viewers that have enjoyed many an evening there, but also the Guinness World Book of Records.

In 1933 the world’s first ever drive-in cinema was established in the USA. The ‘Camden Drive-in’ in New Jersey opened its doors to the muscles cars and the classic American old timers. However the 1950’s were the absolute boom period for the drive-in, in the USA. The 50’s brought a wave of cinema closures and bust cinema chains, however the drive-in became stronger and larger and became the hottest ticket in town. The James Dean Films, cheaper tickets and the private atmosphere of sitting in your own car all added to the magic of the drive-in. It wasn’t only the Americans enjoying the drive-in cinema, but also the Europeans wanted a slice of the action. The first drive-in in Europe is to be found in Frankfurt and this is still used today. The following decades saw a decline in the drive-in and a rise in the more commonly found today, Multiplexes. These had smaller screens but much more choice for the modern film lover.

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The fascination of watching films outdoors never really died out however and at the end of the 1980’s the new wave of open-air cinemas which are still to be found today in fact, opened their doors to the public. Next to the traditional Greek open-air cinemas of Athens or the Island of Santorini, newer open-air cinemas were springing up in cities such as Berlin, Nuremberg and Zurich. It was at this point where the inflatable screen, the AIRSCREEN came in to action. With the assistance of the inflatable frame the need for scaffold constructions diminished and thus the ease of open-air cinema rose. This meant that practically everywhere could be turned into an open-air cinema in the matter of a moment. The first prototype AIRSCREEN was used at an open-air festival in 1994. Inflatable screens has been used since then at thousands of events all over the world. Mobile cinema is however not only made possible due to the revolutionary inflatable screen, but also the wonderful locations it can take place in.

Outdoor cinema by the sea
Outdoor cinema by the sea

Of course the great advantage of mobile cinema is that it can go practically anywhere. The world can provide the perfect backdrop to your film whether it is a big landmark like Trafalgar Square in the United Kingdom, a wonderful park or lake such as Lake Michigan, USA or a huge stadium such as the Nou Camp in Barcelona, there are no limits to the backdrops to an open-air cinema. However there’s one thing you can be sure of, wherever the backdrop, the AIRSCREEN provides fantastic screen technology for the world of outdoor cinema.

First outdoor movie screening around 1916, Berlin, Germany
This is one of the world’s very first Open-Air Cinemas around 1916 in Berlin