Visit the cinema at the end of the world

An Estonian photographer discovered an abandoned movie theatre deep in the Sinai desert

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EOTWCinema3

You know that feeling when you're the only one in the cinema? Yeah. Estonian photographer Kaupo Kikkas went one further – he's found a ghostly, abandoned outdoor cinema deep in the heart of Egypt's Sinai desert.

According to Kikkas, the cinema was built by at the turn of the millenium by a French stoner who had access to oodles of cash. Perfect if you're going to undertake a project like this: you'll need the French romanticism and the weed to cloud your decision-making skills, and then the money to go through with such a totally insane idea.

No film has ever been shown there. On the opening night, the generator powering the party mysteriously cut out. It's suspected that local Egyptians and government officials didn't take too well to the European pothead and his grand cinematic ideas.

In case you were thinking that this is all some CGI hoax, look no further than the GoogleMaps location discovered by blogger MessyNessyChic, which appears to show an aerial view of the cinema – complete with neatly lined-up seats for an audience that will never arrive. 

"Egypt is and was kind of a police state," Kikkas told Dazed. "In Sinai it's actually forbidden to go to the desert if you don't take a tour or organised trip. These tours and trips take you to all the same places and actually one route is just two miles away from the cinema. I think most of the locals know about this place but because of the 'confusion' between this Frenchman, local government and Bedouins, it's a topic that's not really talked about."

As for the identity of the Frenchman? "I don't know this guy personally but a friend who took me there knew him and even helped him out," Kikkas says. "After the cinema failed the French guy disappeared, because someone financed the project and obviously the money was lost. Maybe he'll show up soon, or maybe someone will come forward who knows more, I don't know."

For now, the cinema remains in the desert: untouched and unmoved, like a relic of an ancient past – an emblem of wasted potential, unfinished business, and a symbol of a beautiful idea not quite realised.

What's the weirdest place you've ever watched a film?

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"I've got my popcorn but I've got no idea where to sit" Kaupo Kikkas
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