Another Monument to Man’s Folly

There is many an extravagant monument to man’s folly, to his ego, to his dreams, his vanity, or whatever else you may want to call it.  Some of the architecture was never finished, some completed and never used and some simply abandoned for any number of reasons.  There are to many to mention here (although you may like to explore some of them through the Failed Architecture website).

The project I want to highlight in this post I initially discovered on the designboom website.  It caught my attention due to it’s real-life similarity to the epic vision/blindness exhibited in the films Fitzcarraldo and The Mosquito Coast.  A cinema situated in the blazing Sinai Desert equals the monumental grandeur/doomed-to-failure obsessions evident in both of these movies.

The photographs were taken by Kaupo Kikkas and the collection is called End of The World Cinema.  It is a real shame that he didn’t take photographs of the view from the seats or the projection room – to me that would be the most obvious images to take.  Instead we have shots across the seats and the outside of the projection room.  This is what he has to say about the project:-

On a sunny day at the very beginning of this millenniums a crazy frenchman found himself in the desert of Sinai. After some puffs of a magic smoke he wondered – how come that there are no cinemas in the middle of the desert? 

He flew back to Paris and arranged some money. After that he went to Cairo to buy original old seats and projection equipment from an old cinema theatre. Then came back to Sinai, arranged generator for electricity a monsterous tractor to pull up the screen that was like a gigantic sail. And now everything was more or less ready for the premier. 

Only detail he forgot was that this nice desert happens to be in Egypt. Country where local authorities are not too happy about such enthusiasm and spirit, specially if it comes from a crazy frenchmen…

At the premier evening everything went “accidentally” wrong, their electricity generator was sabotaged and no movies were ever screened at the End of the World Cinema.

So there it lies and waits – a monument from another reality and time.

We all love grand designs and big ideas – when they come off they can be stunning, but when don’t come off they can be equally stunning.  Left to gradual decay they serve as reminders of man’s frailty and  inevitable transience on the face of the planet.

End of The World Cinema 1Photograph by Kaupo Kikkas

End of The World Cinema 2Photograph by Kaupo Kikkas

End of The World Cinema - on Google EarthEnd of The World Cinema on Google Earth.


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