FINLAND. Helsinki Airport has introduced an innovative service to enhance passenger experience and layover time, with the opening of a small ‘one-of-its-kind’ cinema.
The Gate 33, two-seated ‘Cinema in HEL’ is open 24 hours and is free of charge. Its first feature film is East and West Side Story, a 14-minute film produced by Helsinki Airport and Finnair, and a neat allusion to the airport’s positioning as a transit point and hub between east and west.
Airport operator Finavia said that it aimed to bring travellers together by offering what it claims to be the world’s first cinema to require just two people to start the show.
The film only starts when both seats in the cinema are occupied. According to Finavia, the seats are equipped with micro tactile switches to dim the lights and start the movie. The cinema walls are painted with ‘Black 2.0’, a paint that reflects almost no light. “Despite the small environment, it gives a sense of almost infinitely large space,” Finavia said.
Finavia Senior Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Communications Katja Siberg commented: “The Cinema in HEL is a great way to bring out the best parts of travelling: encountering different cultures and making new acquaintances, a great way to bring curious travellers together.
“We want to create unforeseen experiences for our travellers as we are developing Helsinki Airport to welcome 30 million annual passengers.”
Finavia said it plans to offer travellers other short films in Cinema in HEL and will include documentaries and shorts from international filmmakers.
East and West Side Story is the third and final event in the Match Made in HEL concept, a (brilliant –Ed) joint marketing campaign by Finnair and Finavia. In 2015, the first in the series turned Helsinki airport into a skate park for professional skateboarders. In 2016 seven designers from Europe and Asia held a fashion show on the airport runway.
The film has the theme of encounters that take place when people travel. It follows a famous writer in need of personal privacy, while the whole world wants to have her in the limelight. The story covers three continents, moving from the USA to South Korea and ending in Finland.