End of the world cinema: theater in the desert

Egypt’s abandoned open-air movie theater! The scenario seems undeniably post-apocalyptic as you stroll through the sand to approach the world’s creepiest theater. The 700 weathered and worn-out seats of this abandoned outdoor movie theater languish in the roaring desert wind, having never seen a premiere.

An abandoned cinema theater known as “The End of World Cinema” may be found near the southern extremity of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. It was created in the late 1990s by Frenchman Dienne Idel, but it was shut down just before the scheduled debut.

Aerial view of “The End of World Cinema”
Aerial view of “The End of World Cinema”

Nobody knows what went wrong, but some believe local officials were not pleased with the thought of a movie theater in the middle of nowhere, so the generators were turned off.

Jurassic Park will be the first film exhibited at Idel’s art theater, he informed a visiting photographer at the time. The theater was built to “show that tourism is not always a damaging force and that the Great Nature Theater can reconcile us to these aspects,” according to the film’s opening ticket.

The open theater of “The End of World Cinema”
The open theater of “The End of World Cinema”

However, without additional efforts to rebuild the Sinai Cinema, Idel’s goal of a theater in the heart of the Egyptian desert would remain unfulfilled. Nowadays, the only audience is visitors riding quad bikes across the desert, looking to view rows of abandoned places with their eerie air.

The theater is extremely stunning when seen against a backdrop of stars in the night sky, encircled by the Sinai hills. The theater was robbed and extensively destroyed some years ago, and the Egyptian authorities closed the area to visitors in April 2018.

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