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The Story of Moonlight Cinema on Koh Phangan

11 Aug 2016

Moonlight Cinema has to be one of the most exciting businesses to open on Koh Phangan and the first set of feedback is very positive indeed.

It has been tastefully, lovingly created and thought out by its owners and brings all of the best elements of Koh Phangan into one space.

Phanganist headed down with Leo Beer to meet again with Jamie now it has officially open to hear how it has been going and what you can all expect from Phangan’s newest most unique establishment…

Hi Jamie, so congratulations on opening, how has it gone?
With limited promotion we have been doing an amount that people say we should be pleased with but we are sure that this has more potential with proper promotion and the high season.

We would like the island to know that this is not just a cinema, it is much more than that. Moonlight Cinema is an enchanted movie garden nestled in heart of Thongsala - the island's bustling core - Providing a unique oasis for the mind and body recover from whatever the island throws at you.

Being on the Full Moon Party island, we are the only designator detox, recovery establishment on the island. We offer an organic menu with most options being vegan and everything being made in house from scratch. Right down to the sauces and dips. In addition, we provide a scientifically enhanced smoothie bar serving super smoothies with 5HTP, magnesium, melatonin boosters to help the party people recover faster and safer.

The island smoothie selection consists of ice, sugar, and minimal fruit. And lastly, our tea menu is an internationally selected one with many products that are extremely difficult to source into the country. All of which have been proven to have dramatic positive effects on your health both short term & long term.

Explain the ethos of Moonlight Cinema…
The way I look at Koh Phangan is Yin and Yang, geographically even more so. You have Sri Thanu, Haad Yao and the North then the South, Haad Rin, Haad Tien etc. This being said after three years of living here I’ve noticed the yang energy overtaking its counterpart.

Due to this I feel even more separation between communities and my vision with Moonlight is to bridge this ever growing gap by offering an environment that not only calls to both demographics but also gives back to the island as a whole.

What is on offer apart from the movies?
It’s mainly during the daytime a full service restaurant garden, we are encouraging digital nomad’s to consider our space as an outdoor shaded option with fiber optic wifi throughout and Green Com printing opposite.

And you seem to be showcasing different things from around the island…
The vision is to create a community, for Moonlight to become a community project. I don’t believe that you can create value to people without consulting them or having their involvement.

I would like everybody to be proud with this project and associate with it either directly or indirectly.

So if anyone feels they have anything which can add value to the island under the Moonlight name the let’s talk!

The thing I like about you Jamie is that you yourself are not just one area of Phangan, you are a good mix of all things and this seems to reflect in Moonlight, was this intentional?
Yes it is intentional, again it’s bridging the yin and yang. Even the location of Moonlight, if you drew a yin yang on the map, the cinema sits in between.

Given the direction of my life and the profound beliefs I’m beginning to yield on a physical and spiritual level I am compelled to create an environment that encourage those who would not traditionally end up in Sri Thanu. That allows people to enjoy a very shanti environment so they leave more open minded to living a holistic life.

And Moonlight welcomes everyone including families yes?
When we were first thinking of the idea I had the dehydrated party people in mind but after a year of building it and an abundance of community feedback from all walks of life, I realised we can get more value from a broader audience, one being families with children.

One of the biggest pats on the back I have received have been mothers with small kids thanking me for providing and activity for them to do after school before going home. They can have a movie and popcorn or a movie and a meal that is very nutritious for the growth and development of your baby.

So that being said, we are focusing our 4pm and 6.15pm showings to be catered for children and families. The movies will focus on Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney and Marvel to be entertaining for the whole family.

How will you grow for the rest of the year?
For the first few months we’ll focus on the static cinema and daytime restaurant. Once we have figured how to walk as such then our plan is to work out more dynamic promotions and listings. We’ll have marathon week's, theme movies nights where people dress up, holiday specials and the ‘island’s favourite’ through online and sms voting.

For local businesses interested in increasing their mind share amongst locals and tourists we are offering commercial slots before each movie followed by the King's anthem and finishing with the feature presentation. For advertising you can email info@moonlightphangan.com

Apart from Moonlight, what excites you about Koh Phangan at the moment?
We seem to be living in interesting times both in global terms and micro social economic levels on the island.

I’m excited to see what the next generation will be and I’m hopeful that Moonlight sets a new standard for good things to come.

You should be proud Jamie, are you?
I’m a very hard person to please but I am smiling more these days...