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4 Unusual Places to Watch Cinema

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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In the air, on the water, on the move
floating cinema
2011 launch event, Springfield. Photo: Nina Pope

When you go to the cinema, there is always a short promotional ad saying how wonderful going to the movies is; it is not just about watching a film, but 'it is the experience that counts'. With the rise of high definition and 3D over the last half decade or so, this message has been highlighted to an even greater degree. But could that now perhaps be becoming detrimental? Most cinemas offer HD, 3D, and IMAX screenings these days, so no particular one is that standout anymore. The novelty 'experience' has worn off, and now companies are thinking of new novel ways to get audiences to their screens.

If going to the cinema is all about the 'experience', then here are four unusual venues to get just that.

Floating Cinema

After a resounding success in 2011, the Floating Cinema will return at the end of July this year. Designed by Duggan Morris Architects, the 'Extra-Ordinary' programme will include outdoor screenings, canal tours, workshops, and events along East London's waterways.

You can choose to book a screening on board the boat, which will include a tour, or watch them for free outside, as they are streamed live.

British Airways Picturehouse

Although you won't actually be taking off, British Airways are going to recreate an in-flight cinema experience at the London Vinopolis between the 22nd-26th July. You will be able to choose from five travel inspired films, including Skyfall, Top Gun, The Beach, Jaws, and a 'fan's choice'. The Silent Picturehouse will provide you with a unique experience, as you listen to the films through wireless headphones. Tickets are 15 and include popcorn, ice cream, and sweets.

There will also be special kids' screenings that include Disney's Up, Cars 2, the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland, Oz the Great and Powerful, and The Muppets.

The Nomad Cinema

Just like a travelling circus, The Nomad Cinema set up in the morning, provide entertainment throughout the day, and pack up in the evening on the way to the next town. As well as a cinema screen, they also take their trust street food vans with them, so you can enjoy popcorn, chocolate, frozen yoghurt, fish finger sandwiches, and cocktails. To see when they will be at a tow near you, check out their schedule.

Rooftop Film Club

A view from a roof. Screening classic films in Shoreditch, Kensington, Peckham Rye, and London Fields, The Rooftop Film Club, gives you the highest viewing experience. The season runs between the 29th June - 30th September, with tickets at 12.
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Why? Fun for film lovers
Cost: Free-15
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