Lost But Found: Outdoor Cinemas In Singapore

Even with pre­mier suites rolled out in mod­ern day cin­e­ma oper­a­tors, going to the movies is an acces­si­ble lux­u­ry for us. In exchange for a good S$11 or so, plus a dol­lar for book­ing fee per­haps, we get to ful­fill our enter­tain­ment needs in plush chairs and a state of the art sur­round sound sys­tem.

Before cine­plex­es were our go-to enter­tain­ment com­pound, though, peo­ple had to con­tent them­selves with out­door cin­e­mas. They would lay their mats on the most strate­gic patch of grass as the stars shim­mered above, pro­vid­ing an open­ing act of illu­mi­na­tion. Right at the front, where a slight gra­di­ent allowed for bet­ter view­ing, was the big screen. Look­ing around, you could see people’s won­der and antic­i­pa­tion as the blue light high­lights their face against a peace­ful back­drop of nature.

With your friends, you could hud­dle togeth­er on your 100 by 100 mat, and break bread over the lat­est gos­sip as the film pre­pares for screen­ing. In an open space, sound does not trav­el so well — you would have got­ten a harsh shush from your neigh­bours if you were to do that in the the­atres today.

And if it was with your date, you could hold his or her hand and gaze up at the stars from time to time, rel­ish­ing the inti­ma­cy as the two of you snug­gle clos­er dur­ing a par­tic­u­lar­ly roman­tic scene. Back then, pub­lic dis­plays of affec­tion were not con­doned (or at least frowned upon to a greater extent), and the movies was the best place to bask in each other’s com­pa­ny — while enjoy­ing the film, of course.

Such a cin­e­mat­ic expe­ri­ence in the great out­doors might be lost now, replaced by vel­vety seats, frigid air con­di­tion­ing and restric­tive arm rests. But what do you know, there are still a hand­ful of out­door cin­e­mas for you to have a blast from the past, and have a look at how the stars shine for you if the going gets bor­ing.

Films at the Fort

They only open for a few days in a year, and tick­ets tend to go out fast. It’s a place that puts up splen­did films togeth­er with wine and gourmet food stalls. If you are on a bud­get, this alfres­co style the­atre allows you to bring your own food and bev­er­ages. There is noth­ing more roman­tic than a per­son­al­ly pre­pared pic­nic for two as the sun sets over the rolling film.

Open Air Cin­e­ma Club

The Hive hosts the Open Air Cin­e­ma Club month­ly. This is where movie junkies can get togeth­er on the rooftop of The Hive, with the Sin­ga­pore cityscape as a back­drop, and watch the screen­ing of the day. They queue a vari­ety of gen­res from art-house films to mod­ern day favourites, so you’d have to check out updates from their Face­book page. Since The Hive is locat­ed con­ve­nient­ly at New Bridge Road, you can gath­er your cor­po­rate bud­dies every month and enjoy a well-deserved night out after work.

Be My Kaki Bus

Maybe you’ve seen this lit­tle bus roam­ing around the heart­lands of Sin­ga­pore, band­ing crowds of peo­ple from all walks of life — most­ly from the movie buff walk, we’d pre­sume. Be My Kaki Bus aims to bring back the kam­pung spir­it through movies; if you count your neigh­bours as kakis, or you have the slight­est of inten­tions to make new friends in near places, it might be a good idea to keep an eye out for this.

Movie Mob

If you fan­cy your­self a social but­ter­fly on a caterpillar’s bud­get, Movie Mob could be the best pick for you. Held fort­night­ly, the Movie Mob picks out a spe­cial loca­tion to screen a movie for — you guessed it — free! Do bring your own mats and your own bas­ket of pic­nic-y food­stuffs. This is as close as you can get to the tra­di­tion­al out­door screen­ing expe­ri­ence. If you are able to, dri­ve in with your date on your next date night, and expe­ri­ence dat­ing like it was in the 1960s, where the pri­va­cy was scan­dalous then, but not so now.

Sun­set Cin­e­ma

Sun­set Cin­e­ma at Tan­jong Beach is an annu­al event. As it is extreme­ly well received, get­ting an entry to this is mat­ter of fastest fin­gers first. You may find many par­al­lels between Sun­set Cin­e­ma and say, Zouk­Out; it has a DJ on deck, food booths and even bars for you par­ty until the sun comes up — so to speak. It would tru­ly be a beau­ti­ful sight to behold when the film rolls against the fad­ing tran­si­tion of the sky to amber, and then a deep mid­night pur­ple.

2018’s dates are to be released soon, so get those fleet fin­gers ready!


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