An Insider's View of the Open-Air Cinema at Christmas Island

Outdoor Movies at the Open-Air Cinema at Christmas IslandAfter retracing my steps I headed down the third and final track - as it turned out, saving the best for last. I wound my way through an enchanted forest of giant Tahitian chestnuts, eventually fetching up at a spring, where fresh water bubbled from a limestone cave before cascading over a rock ledge inlaid with an intricate pattern of moss. Some of the island's Chinese population believe this waterfall to be the centre of the Earth's water universe. While I'm no expert on Feng Shui, it's definitely one of the prettiest waterfalls I'd set eyes upon. I felt as though I could linger there all evening, but it was a Saturday - which meant it was time for the most popular community event on the island: the weekly outdoor movie. This was far from your standard night out at the movies. This was cinema Christmas Island-style. Armed with an esky of cool drinks, a stash of snacks and a comfy cushion, I paid my five dollars and took a seat amongst the expectant throng of locals. The night's offering was Pirates Of The Caribbean a fitting choice for a far-flung, open-air cinema perched on a cliff-top with never-ending views over a moonlit ocean. Midway through the first pillaging scene, beyond the screen and makeshift sound system, bolts of lightning punctuated an otherwise darkened horizon. A light sea breeze touched our faces while a flock of birds returned late to their roosts, squawking loudly overhead. For a moment I thought I actually was in the Caribbean. As the credits from the outdoor movie rolled, many of the locals gathered in groups to polish off the contents of their eskies and catch up on the week's gossip. Exhausted from my day of exploring, I drove carefully back down the winding road from to open-air cinema to my accommodation, half expecting some sword-bearing bandit to leap out at me. Thankfully - sort of - all I encountered was more crabs. --Timothy Bull http://www.australiantraveller.com/index.cfm?page_id=1311

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