In December of last year, the historic Tempelhof airport added another chapter to its eventful history by reconverting its main hall into a cinema. Due to its “great success” – as their website informs us –, the Kino pop-up at Flughafen Tempelhof will remain open until at least February 27. From Thursday to Sunday each week, THF Cinema will be screening “cinema classics” for up to 300 viewers a night.
There’s always an undeniable thrill watching films in innovative spaces, and the colossal scale of the main hall’s architecture does lend screenings a novel charm. However, certain elements dampen any initial enthusiasm: the folding seats aren’t particularly comfortable, and while each week has its own theme, the varied line-ups don’t feel particularly inspired. Granted, the ‘By Any Other Name’ programme, which included the likes of Der Vorname, Sabrina and Call Me By Your Name, showed promise. Much less intriguing was ‘Crazy, Weird and Different’ week, which fecklessly lumped together House of Gucci, Parasite, Forrest Gump and Toni Erdmann just because “everyone is special in their own way”.
The rather pedestrian programming does feel a lot like your average Freiluftkino billing on a slow year, and the organisers haven’t seen fit to utilise the location’s potential to create some meta-textual interplay (even if the enclosed spaces of The Shining’s Overlook Hotel did work eerily well within the airport setting). But if you can forgive all that, or you’re just in the mood for catching up on some classics in a historically-charged pop-up film theatre, then please take your seats ready for cinematic take-off.
THF Cinema Tempelhofer Damm 23, Tempelhof Thu-Sun