The woman behind Singapore’s coolest cinema

Karen Tan stumbled upon the long-defunct Golden Cinema in Jan 2014. She brought the idea back to her team at Pocket Projects (a creative development agency) and they decided to partner with design studio Farm. Less than one year and some serious crowdfunding efforts later, say hello to our latest indie cinema: The Projector. In less than two months, it’s become a hotbed of sexy, bearded, tote bag-carrying types. And they sell craft beer!
Screenings happening this weekend (Jan 17-18) include the Kubrick retrospective, Korean film Poetry and part one of Sodankylä Forever.
, The woman behind Singapore’s coolest cinema
The Projector; credit: Philipp Aldrup
How is The Projector different from what you imagined?
So far it is exactly as we had envisioned—quirky and full of character. The project is also about the co-existence of old and new; it is not always necessary to tear things down and rebuild from scratch. The Redrum event space is re-designed to be a flexible space usable in different ways—anything from experiemental music gigs or corporate workshops. We hope to invite the public back to explore these spaces and contribute to shaping the character of this place with whatever activities they get up to here.
What’s The Projector’s team like?
We are a small team. Candid conversations occur in a flat hierarchy and everyone’s input is valued. We largely enjoy what we do and we look at all our projects as fun, interesting and meaningful.
Does the entire team gather for regular movie nights?
We’re a start-up company, so it’s been too much work and too little play. But we intend to rectify that once now that we have a cinema space and the movies shown are those that we like.
How is the community support?
Initially, we couldn’t believe how excited and enthusiastic people were. We weren’t sure whether people would be receptive to the idea of an independent cinema, but many individuals have come forward with ideas and offers of help—it’s been motivating, and we’re truly grateful. The Singapore International Film Festival team have also been very supportive, and being one of the official venues for SGIFF was a great opportunity to meet many people who are quietly passionate about film. Surpassing our crowdfunding goal with the support of the community has been a real vote of confidence for us, and we’re looking forward to meeting more of them when we fling open our doors this month.
What are some of your favorite spots in Singapore?
Haw Par Villa that’s ironically abandoned. It is a place that is truly uniquely ours and has more local character than ubiquitous towers. It’s beautiful in its aged melancholia, rather than sanitised and scrubbed clean.