With one year to go till the Olympics, the seismic shift in East London’s landscape is vast and tangible, with shiny, glass-and-steel regeneration now very much ubiquitous in the area. But one project is keen to remember its grimy, industrial past, and one quirk in particular. Films on Fridges, which launches tonight, is a season of outdoor summer screenings at a pop-up cinema on the site of what was once ‘Fridge Mountain’ – Europe’s largest dump of discarded refrigerators.
The waste oddity, nearly twenty feet tall at its peak, was removed in 2005 following much government wrangling (though where the fridges disappeared to remains something of a mystery), and like most desolate industrial deserts in Hackney, was quickly earmarked as part of the new Olympic site. Now fridges have temporarily returned, to be part of the construction of this ephemeral cinema.
Since the screen is quite literally in the shadow of the new Olympic Stadium, the organisers have fittingly opted for a season of sports-related films for their three weeks of movies (mirroring the Olympic timescale of 2012), featuring some cracking cult favourites, from the lovably crap patriotic WW2 football movie Escape to Victory, to the epic Oscar-winner Chariots of Fire.
Tonight’s launch night, featuring a performance from cellist collective The Massive Violins before the screening of Rocky (of course!), is sadly sold out, but tickets are still available for most other events, which include an evening of shorts as part of the East London Film Festival. All films begin at 9pm, “or whenever the sun decides to set”.
Photo of Fridge Mountain by Chrisdb1.