Nestled in the tranquil waters of the Nai Pi Lae lagoon on Kudu Island in Thailand is this concept-turned-awesome-reality: the Archipelago Cinema. Designed by German Architect Ole Scheeren, moviegoers trade theater seats for outsized cushions, and dark walls for an idyllic tropical vista.
The floating screen and its raft of an auditorium had its first screening late last month, and utilized construction techniques "used by fishermen to construct floating lobster farms," according to the architect. This goes right up there with our favorite water-borne theatres from Germany, though the audience floats at the Archipelago Cinema, too.
A post on Scheeren's website describes the experience of seeing a film at Archipelago Cinema thusly:
"Guests were taken by boat through the darkness of the sea to arrive on a glowing raft in the middle of the quiet waters of Nai Pi Lae lagoon on Kudu Island. Surrounded by a dramatic landscape of towering rocks emerging from the ocean, the audience experienced an atmospheric convergence of nature and cinematic narratives — primordial notions of light, sound and stories suspended in the darkness between sea and sky."
Sounds pretty heavenly! Pop open a coconut water, turn on your desk fan and let your mind drift along the gallery below.
"Following its debut, Archipelago Cinema was dismantled and donated to the village where it was built, for use as a playground and floating theater. Or perhaps as a lobster farm."