ABU DHABI // The world's largest mobile cinema screen opens for a 12-day schedule tonight in its first visit to the capital. The screen, the height of a six-storey building, will show one film a night in the grounds of the Emirates Palace hotel. Topping the bill are the James Bond film Quantum of Solace, RocknRolla, Genghis Khan and the remake of the Cold War science fiction thriller, The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Farzin Samadian, the director of Swiss OpenAir Concept, the company behind the event, said he hoped to see up to 2,000 people per night. "There has been a great reception to the event," he said. "We are showing Western, Hollywood and Arabic movies so there is something for everyone." Many of the films, such as Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla, are playing weeks before they are to be released commercially in the UAE.
Tomorrow, National Day, Captain Hima, starring the Egyptian singer Tamer Hosni, will be shown. The Emirates Palace hotel will serve international food, tailored to the film of the night. For example, on Bollywood night, guests will feast on Indian cuisine. It is the first time Abu Dhabi has hosted the screen, which is 4,000 square feet in area and has a 32-speaker surround sound system. Previously the screen was in Dubai and it will head to Sydney next.
Mr Samadian said the screen would return to the UAE every November. The travelling cinema company was started in Zurich in 1988. It began with a screen half the size of the current one and an audience of 600 people. As the concept became more popular the screen toured other European cities and eventually moved to a world tour with multiple screens. The screen weighs 70 tonnes and is shipped around the world in eight containers. It takes almost five days to set up using a 240- tonne crane, and three days to dismantle.
The cinema will open tonight at 7pm, an hour and a half before a laser and light show to mark its arrival. Tickets for the shows, sponsored by Hydra Properties, can be bought for Dh50 from Timeout.com, Virgin Megastore in Abu Dhabi Mall and daily from 11am to 7pm at the public entrance to the Emirates Palace hotel. firstname.lastname@example.org
For all films: gates open at 7pm; showings begin at 8.30pm. Today Quantum of Solace Tomorrow Capitan Hima (Arabic with English subtitles) Dec 3 Madagascar 2 Dec 4 Punisher 2: War Zone Dec 5 Bolt Dec 6 Lakeview Terrace Dec 7 Genghis Khan Dec 8 RocknRolla Dec 9 Bollywood 'surprise' night (Hindi with English Subtitles) Dec 10 The Day the Earth Stood Still Dec 11 Anywhere But Home (Comedy night) Dec 12 Niko & The Way to the Stars (Family night)