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.

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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.

2015_Urban_Atomic Festival

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

Anchors away for open air cinema on cruise ship

The cruise ship ’Costa neoRomantica’ was recently introduced to the world of open air cinema after AIRSCREEN installed one of their inflatable movie screens on board the newly renovated ship. Two AIRSCREEN technicians were on board to install the screen and to ensure that the passengers on board really got to enjoy the best of open air cinema on the high seas. Up to 1,800 passengers fit on board and amongst other activities such as a spa, casino and discotheque they are now able to enjoy the latest films whilst cruising around the Mediterranean or further a field.

AIRSCREEN on a cruise ship in the Italian port of Savona
AIRSCREEN on a cruise ship in the Italian port of Savona

Next to a shopping centre, a gym and many restaurants, the 12 floor Costa ship now has the inflatable screen in its repertoire. This screen was perfect for the cruise ship as it is set up and taken down in minutes and this means it can be installed when it needs to be, for example when a romantic evening of on board cinema should take place. Not only this but the passengers are then able to enjoy one of the finer things about holiday life, a cocktail or two from the on board ‘ Saint-Tropez bar.

Open-Air-cinema on the high seas
Open-Air-cinema on the high seas

AIRSCREEN opens outdoor cinema in Fuerteventura

The AIRSCREEN Company recently installed a 6.10m x 3.43 inflatable screen on the beautiful Canary Islands. An introduction to the technology and how the screen works was given in Fuerteventura itself from one of the AIRSCREEN Company’s highly trusted technicians. This was all done to allow for a brand new attraction to be opened in the hotel, namely an open air cinema for all coming guests to enjoy.

AIRSCREEN Fuerteventura
Inflatable screens in Fuerteventura, Spain

Fuerteventura, or as the locals call it, Paradise Island, has the perfect climate for open air cinema, with long warm nights allowing for blockbusters to be shown on the big screen without catching a chill. The open air cinema season is not too long away and we are hoping for a long warm summer for all to enjoy the romance of open air cinema with AIRSCREEN.

open-air cinema with AIRSCREEN
Open air cinema tourist attractions