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The art of pop-up cinema

Pop-up cinema is a new concept for South Africans. We asked its backers, classic movie channel TCM, to give us the low-down.

1. How did the idea for the concept come about and why?

TCM Pop Up Cinema was born from the need that we at TCM saw in the South African market for an exclusive and thrilling revolution in the movie- viewing experience. We wanted to bring our wonderful films to a whole new host of movie lovers and we wanted to celebrate the finest movie moments ever committed to celluloid with our South African audiences.

2. How is it different from mainstream cinemas the public is used to? TCM Pop Up Cinema is much more than a just a regular viewing at your local movie theatre. TCM invites you to immerse yourself into a world of film: transforming hand-picked venues into an homage to the best scenes, memorable locations and perfect moments from your favourite movies, alongside special big-screen viewings, for a strictly limited number of lucky film fans. Enjoying film is not just about buying an expensive ticket and sitting in the dark. We want to give our audience a completely new movie-going experience. TCM Pop Up Cinema will bring the romance and adventure back to the big screen: creating a setting that allows audiences not to merely view the movie but to become a part of the comedy, action, tears and laughter.

3. How long has the concept been running? Pop Up Cinema launched in South Africa on the 24th of February 2011 and so the PE event is the 3rd event of the year

4. Where did it start and how has the public received it? It began in Johannesburg on the 24th of February and was received with enormous excitement. The South African cinematic scene has been hungry for this kind of interactive, engaging movie going experience for a very long time and Pop Up Cinema definitely filled the need.

5. What will be the appeal for the PE audience? TCM POP Up Cinema is delivering an entirely unique movie viewing experience right to their doorsteps. The movie being screened has not been screened anywhere else. The venue will be transformed into 70’s groove and coolness and the atmosphere will be warm and intimate and a night that Pop Up Cinemites will have a hard time forgetting.

6. What can they look forward to?

The can look forward to a night of laughter and drama set in a glorious venue transformed into the gritty world of Shaft!

7. How and why did you choose to bring the concept in PE? Pop Up Cinema has come to Port Elizabeth because we believe the city deserves a social, cinematic event of this calibre. The Port Elizabeth market is key to the TCM demographic and we knew that there would be many lovers of fine cinema in PE.

8. Is it the screening of the movie only running for a day? Yes – Pop Up Cinema runs for one evening and then moves on to the next destination so it’s critical for movie lovers to join us on Twitter,Facebook, or log on to the website: to ensure that they do not miss out on Pop Up Cinema in their cities.

9. Why is it free to view the films?

The films are free because we want to turn Pop Up Cinema into a cult event with a following that will multiply across the country. These events are going to grow and build until Pop Up Cinema is the most anticipated cinematic event across South Africa.

10. What type of movies are screened and how do you choose them?

We screen TCM classics. For many people when they hear the term classic they think old but that is not what our movies are about. It is not their age that defines them but how they resonate with the audience, how they linger in the mind and heart and soul after they have been watched. Some of the movies we have chosen are from 50 years ago and some are from 20 years ago. We select our movies according to their excellence and how they live on for us and our audience.

11. Why do people have to guess the movies and how do they get clues? The reason audiences are encouraged to guess the theme, the movies and the venue is to keep the tension and excitement around the event going until we reach the night of the screening. Pop Up Cinema emphasizes interactivity. We want lovers of cinema to be engaged in the process, to help to form and mould and create the experience. Turner is very focused on meeting and speaking to its South African audiences and so we want to hear from you, we want to know you’re excited about what we’re bringing to you, and Pop Up Cinema is a great vehicle for creating and sustaining that connection.

12. Please tell me about Turner Broadcasting Systems. What is it and what other projects has it done?

Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) delivers some of the world’s most successful and well-known news and entertainment brands ‚ CNN, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TCM (Turner Classic Movies), TNT, Tru Movies and Adult Swim, across approximately 100 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Alongside its TV channels TBS is at the forefront of developing its brands through the internet, broadband, wireless, DVD, e-commerce, merchandising, cinema, publishing and every other available platform. Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited is a Time Warner Company

In South Africa Turner’s focus is investment in the market and in South African talent. Turner has done work with local production companies on Cartoon Network’s Dance Club presented by Lorcia Cooper. TCM Pop Up Cinema is an event launched solely in South Africa and again the focus is investment in the South African film scene. Animation Generation is also a South African project that encourages children to create their own animations based on Cartoon Network characters and focuses on fostering young South African talent and creativity.

* Last week Port Elizabeth was transported to the 70s as TCM Pop Up Cinema brought Shaft to the city. Click here to read more.


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