On the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, tucked in the dusty foothills of an Egyptian mountain range, sit hundreds of seats in an abandoned outdoor movie theater. The arrangement is eerie, like a long-ago movie set awaiting Fellini to shout, “Azion!”
Estonian photographer Kaupo Kikkas recently visited the bleak locale and captured these amazing images of a crumbled dream.
On his blog, Kikkas explains that the theater was built not too long ago by a wealthy Frenchman who hauled in the old seats and a power generator from Cairo, along with an enormous projection screen formed in the shape of a giant sail.
Kikkas says the locals weren’t particularly keen on the whole idea and decided to secretly sabotage the generator on opening night. Not one movie was ever screened.
So now it remains in the middle of a desert, a phantom theater, never used; see it still on Google Maps. According to the photographer, the Frenchman’s flaw was in forgetting, “that this nice desert happens to be in Egypt. A country where local authorities are not too happy about such enthusiasm and spirit, specially if it comes from a crazy Frenchmen.”
An award-winning commercial photographer, Kikkas is intrigued by the inheritance humans leave behind when we abandon our built environment.
He photographs discarded buildings and forgotten sites as part of an ongoing project called “Testament”, an artistic record of what happens when we walk away from the man-made environment. Litter writ large.
Images from Kaupo Kikkas’ website