Cycle-Powered Cinema: Christchurch, August 2016

Cycle-powered cinema at Space Academy, August 2016. Photo credit: Michal Czernik and Hana Venclova

All photo and flyer credits: Michal Czernik and Hana Venclova

Christchurch’s Cycle-Powered Cinema was born out of a Gap Filler project back in February 2012. After some down time in 2014, it’s logged hundreds of kilometers in travel and in use in the past year. The revival effort comes from local cycling group, cycleCHCH.

The cinema kits recently returned from a festival in Wellington where it powered a set of stage lights at Beervana. In August, RAD Bikes, local community workshed, hosted another public screening alongside a free tune-up workshop at Space Academy, a multi-use space with close ties to the bike scene in Christchurch.

RAD Bikes shared a variety of films with the theme, “100 WAYS TO BE RAD”. From surfing to skateboarding, sailing to cycling, there was a film for everyone. Six stands and motors were used, including one BMX for kids. Literally, sparks flew in the beginning and soon, bikers were pedaling their way to glory and the crowds were happy. Cycle-powered cinema is always an adventure for the host and community.

The cycle-powered cinema brings together people in ways no traditional cinema does. Not even in a way a drive-in movie could. It allows people to share close space, interact with others, and exercise their legs. Occasionally, a cyclist dismounts, shouts to a stranger that the bike is free, and anyone willing would have a go. Some were sweating, others hadn’t been on a bike in years. It was a delight to see people smiling and laughing at the sight of people powering a movie with their collective leg power.

Cycle-Powered Cinema will be at the upcoming Festival for Transitional Architecture (FESTA), powering a LED-light display by a university group Lustrous. Come lend your legs to the scene, October 21–24, 2016 in Christchurch.

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