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Mise-en-scène Locarno’s outdoor cinema, a big production


The Locarno film festival has one of the largest outdoor screens in Europe. Rain or shine, up to 8,000 people can watch festival films inside the town’s renaissance Piazza Grande.

The festival had been going for 25 years when, in 1971, organisers floated the idea of putting a giant screen in the town’s picturesque square. The concept was initially met with reservation, but went ahead. Today the screen is 26m long and 14m high and has become the symbol of the southern Swiss town. Putting it up every year is a massive undertaking.

(Christoph Balsiger and Stefania Summermatter,

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