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Thailands Floating Cinema was a fleeting spectacle that gave new meaning to the term “going out” to the movies.
The world is no stranger to the Outdoor Cinema, but what if the world was floating somewhere in the middle of a tranquil lagoon, idly rocking back and forth with the tide while viewing a quaint screen floating on the horizon in front of them? This was reality in March 2012, when the quintessential outdoor cinema catapulted from its humble, grounded origins and re-imagined into the clear blue waters of Nai Pi Lae Lagoon on Kuda Island for the last night of the Rocks Nao Yoi Festival.
The designer of Thailands Floating Cinema, Beijing-based architect Ole Scheeren, described the project as “A screen, nestled somewhere between the rocks. And the audience…floating…hovering above the sea, somewhere in the middle of this incredible space of the lagoon, focused on the moving images across the water: a sense of temporality, randomness, almost like driftwood. Or maybe something more architectural: modular pieces, loosely assembled, like a group of little islands that congregate to form an auditorium.” You catch his drift…
How Was Thailands Floating Cinema Constructed?
The project adopted traditional Thai building practices, gleaning techniques used by local fishermen to construct floating lobster farms. The cinema was crafted out of recycled materials and buoyant pockets of wood bound together with mosquito nets.
There is hope that the no-longer-functioning marvel will reappear as a cinema once again at some stage, but for now, parts of it sit as a floating playground for the children of the Yao Noi community.