We are talking international outdoor cinema with Christian Kremer, the Managing Director of the AIRSCREEN company based in Muenster, Germany. In 1994 Christian co-invent the AIRSCREEN. Today his inflatable movie screens are sold worldwide in seventy-five countries.
Fresh Air Flicks:What are some of the unique approaches to outdoor cinema that are taking place outside of the United States.
Christian Kremer: Obviously there is a certain tendancy of reviving the drive-in again and don't do the drive-in on the same parking lot every weekend but do this as an event in a special location. In a city, do a drive-in in front of a monument, in front of a museum, or in a stadium. Just last weekend we had in one of Germany's biggest stadiums, where the grass can be hydraulically moved out and then they had no problems with having cars inside this very, very big stadium. They had hundreds of cars and this gigantic AIRSCREEN inside this stadium. People loved it. Just to drive with their car in this famous German stadium.
Not long ago we sold an AIRSCREEN to a cruise ship. This ship goes to Casablanca and just before entering the port, let's say when the weather is really nice, and it's warem there obviously because it is North Africa. Just before entering the port, they put on the movie Casablanca. they watch this famous movie on board the ship and after the show they have just arrived in Casablanca. I think that's a brilliant idea.
There's this concept of the rolling roadshow in the U.S. which shows the movies where they have been produced. "There Will Be Blood" for example in exactly the location where they made the movie. They have shown "The Warriors" on Coney Island or "North by Northwest" close to Mount Rushmore.
There's a Secret Cinema in London. They don't really say openly where they have their newest event. This is why it's a secret cinema. You get on a mailing list and you may be approved or may not be approved. You're on the list and they'll tell you a few days before it all starts where to go and then they do a whole show around the movie. They have actors and very special venues, somewhere in the canal system of London, they have a special screening there or in front of a castle or something.
Again in England I know some of our customers just choose the poshest locations available. Kind of stately homes and castles and put up the screen in front of a beautiful castle, on a beautiful garden. Obviously with the AIRSCREEN one of the advantages is that you don't harm the grass or drive in with trucks and ruin the whole gardens. They wouldn't allow that. But with the AIRSCREEN as it's light and can be easily set up you don't make a mess.
FAF: Here in the U.S. the majority of outdoor cinemas are free to the public and funded by local government or a corporate sponsor. How is the funding for outdoor cinemas typically arranged elsewhere in the world?
CK: For example here in Germany we usually charge entrance because the film rental companies force us and they don't like free outdoor movies. So the area is usually closed and you just buy a ticket like in the normal cinema. In other countries they seem to have no problem with a flat fee. We have many filmmakers in South America that just show their own movies. So the people who have the rights with this film are the ones who bought an AIRSCREEN and then tour around their country and show their own movie.
FAF: Give me your perspective on the future of outdoor cinema in the global marketplace.
CK: I think that the future is really good, at least I can see that from the number of screens we sell. this number is rising year after year. I really like to see the different users and the creativity of people who think in different ways. People are getting more and more outdoor-oriented here in Europe and people are really discovering this drive-in concept, they like that. This open air cinema concept in many countries is not yet at the point where it might be in let's say Florida or in California where it's really popular, but I think in other areas where there is this outdoor-orientation, this mediterranean lifestyle it is not yet there. But its like going to the theater or to the opera, it's always new. It's always different interpretations. It's always a new story. And this with a nice backdrop like The Brooklyn Bridge or Golden Gate Bridge, how can it be better?
For more information about starting your own outdoor cinema outside the US, visit www.airscreen.com and of course, for eveyrthing outdoor movie in the US, visit www. FreshAirFlicks.com