Non-Traditional Projection and Cinema

This new section of the website looks at the non-traditional use of projection equipment, including Projection Mapping, Community Cinema, along with Outdoor or Pop-Up Cinemas – anywhere a film or content may be shown or used which is not within the traditional cinema building.

Projection Mapping
Starting a Cinema
Mobile Cinema

When cinema was first developed, it was showman that took the concept around from village to village, fair to fair as a novelty. As cinema developed cinemas found more permanent buildings for their home, although a small dedicated number of mobile film cinemas existed. During the second world war and beyond there were mobile cinemas that entertained and educated the troops where ever they were. But mobile film cinemas require a lot of work and space to set up and run. The equipment they use is heavy and bulky and requires quite a lot of space. However new digital technology is changing all that. Digital projectors can project nearly anywhere from anywhere and there are any number of examples across the Internet where images have been projected onto the side of buildings.

It is also noticeable that in the last few years that there has become an increasing romanticism for outdoor or open-air screenings, despite the unpredictable British weather. In other countries where the climate is a little more predictable outdoor screenings have been happening for many decades. Whether this is new found interest is both a combination of the new technology available or the desire for an alternative to the standard multiplex cinema is another matter. The Time Out magazine in 2011 has for the second year published a list of the many outdoor screenings that are taking place across London.

While doing research into Outdoor screenings it has been interesting to notice a large number of websites either offering the equipment for screenings along with the number of ‘pop-up’ cinema screenings which are taking place. (Pop-up is the relating to the type of screens that are many used for outdoor screenings as they are inflatable screenings which are tethered down.

Having been involved with a number of outdoor screenings at various levels, I know how exciting they are, and they are more satisfying to show a film to than ‘traditional’ venues. I certainly think that we will see more and new variations of unusual cinema happening in temporary venues in the next few years.

Examples of successful mobile cinema, are the Film4 Somerset House screenings which take place each July/August each year and which sell out very quickly each year; Secret Cinema is becoming more and more influential in the alternative cinema stakes. Although cinemas have been found in everything from canal boats through to VW Campervans. The FilmAid International Charity screens educational films in the outdoors.