Centipede Cinema, Guimarães

JournalDesign

Centipede Cinema, Guimarães

Standing room only at fascinating cinema installation...

Sitting in the middle of Guimarães, a UNESCO world heritage city in Portugal, this steel and cork structure may at first seem a bit incongruous with its surroundings, especially given that it has people’s legs sticking out of the bottom.

In actual fact the Centipede Cinema fits perfectly with the traditions of the city both in form and function. Today’s almost useless fact is that Portugal is the world’s leading producer of cork, but with the rise of screw tops and synthetic cork the industry needs new ways to stay afloat. Covering a steel structure with the stuff is one way to go. Then there’s the cinema itself, carrying on a proud tradition in Guimarães of showing important and at times anti-establishment material which dates back to the days of the right-wing dictatorship.

Punters enter the cinema, designed by London-based NEON in collaboration with Colin Fournier and artist Marysia Lewandowska, by popping up through one of 16 tubes. It’s showing 20 trailers from the city’s cinema club archives, so viewers don’t have to stand through the entire length of Titanic. We’d still advise wearing sensible shoes.

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