London Pop-Up Cinema Made from Old Fridges


East London’s Films on Fridges, an outdoor pop-up cinema constructed out of discarded fridges, was not only designed to be a playful cinematic experience, but also to raise awareness about recycling. Photo: Creative Commons, by Infrogmation

Lindsey Scannapieco, an American studying at the London School of Economics, came up with a unique way to get Londoners to think about recycling – an outdoor pop-up cinema constructed out of old, unwanted refrigerators.

Films on Fridges, which wrapped up its screenings in mid-August, was inspired by East London’s “Fridge Mountain,” an infamous 20-foot tall pile of discarded fridges that was cleared in 2005 to make way for the 2012 Olympic site.

Donated by international metal and electronics recycler Sims Recycling Solutions, the fridges were a nod to East London’s industrial past, while the films – “Rocky,” “Cool Runnings” and other sports-themed flicks – reflected the area’s future. Though 150 refrigerators were used to construct the pop-up cinema, Films on Fridges did not project movies directly onto the fridges to guarantee a quality picture.

Architecture student Emma Rutherford, who was also involved with the project, said the cinema was designed to raise awareness about recycling and sustainability.

“We wanted Films on Fridges to be a playful, creative but also educational installation,” Rutherford told the U.K. Guardian. “There will be people who come to see a film who never knew about the fridge mountain, so even if this switches a light bulb on in people’s heads and makes them more aware that would be good – so long as it’s an energy-saving light bulb.”

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