Mobile Sidewalk Theater Connects City Dwellers [My Ideal City]

Mobile Sidewalk Theater Connects City Dwellers [My Ideal City]

Stairway Cinema is a portable structure that can transforms stoops in to a pop up cinema.

  • 12 may 2013

Stairway Cinema is a mobile movie theater created for urban environments that converts an ordinary building stoops into a pop up cinema. Created by the experimental design collective, OH.NO.SUMO from Auckland, New Zealand, the micro-theater can be grafted onto the front steps of a building so that the stairs become seats for films and other visually-rich content.


Around the world, architects and planners are experimenting with temporary venues designed to be quickly deployed and assembled to host temporary events like performances and films. In addition to providing entertainment, Stairway Cinema doubles as a refuge from rain, and as a place for random social encounters between city dwellers. reached out and spoke to Patrick Loo of the experimental design collective Oh.No.Sumo to get his thoughts on how pop up cultures can impact urban environments:

Pop-up projects offer the potential to engage with complex ideas quickly and often cheaply, allowing for rapid developments in thinking and increasingly efficient feedback loops, as well as providing testing grounds for experimental ideas.

Another good example of pop-up culture is Hot Tub Cinema which is a unique event which sets up inflatable hot tubs on London rooftops and screens films for patrons. The event is staged on regularly on different rooftops, and draws a loyal crowd of viewers. In a similar vein, the Bike-In-Theater reinvents the classic drive-in theater by inviting guests arrive with and ride their bikes in the venue.


These pop up culture experiences connect with an ever-changing audience, while highlighting locally sourced content and bringing cultural enrichment into people’s lives.


Q. What cultural experience would you like to see pop up temporarily in your city?

Submit your answer now at the MyIdealCity site – or tweet your suggestion using #MyIdealCity and #Maximizedspace


Over the next 6 months, PSFK and a team of experts imaging the future of a city will be asking you what you envision as ‘My Ideal City’. Tweet us your ideas using the hashtag of the week and view all the submissions at the MyIdealCity site.

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