Combining classic, all-time favourite movies under the stars with a market style atmosphere of music, games, food and drinks, The Galileo Open Air Cinema has become a popular summer staple for both locals and tourists living in Cape Town and the surrounding winelands. Adventure junkie and the brains behind The Galileo, Huenu Solsona, has mastered the art of creating beautifully curated outdoor experiences that keep people coming back for more.
Born in the little town of Esquel in Patagonia, Argentina, this is where her sense of adventure and love for the outdoors began. Aged three, Solsona joined her local snow ski school. Seven years later, aged 10, she was named National Snow Ski Champion – claiming the title over competitors older than her.
In 1990, then aged 12, her family immigrated to South Africa – her dad had accepted a job at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria. Three years later, they moved to Cape Town. Matriculating from Westerford High School in 1995, Solsona travelled abroad for several years, before settling down in Canada. This is where she started her first outdoor business, Spin Cycle Thrill Rides – an interactive games company set in Whistler. It was while living in Canada that she first came across the idea to bring an open-air cinema to South Africa, which she did in 2012.
Since launching, The Galileo Open Air Cinema has expanded from 22 screenings over their first season to its current programme, which runs Tuesdays to Sundays, and has 125 screenings at a variety of different venues. Now in its sixth year, the season launch has come to signal the start of summer for many Capetonians.
The Galileo is Solsona’s second successful business venture in South Africa. Returning to South Africa in 2005, she launched Adventure Boot Camp – a women’s only outdoor exercise programme, which began with one camp made up of 30 women in Kirstenbosch Gardens and expanded to more than 100 camps, reaching more than 50 000 budding fitness fanatics. She sold the business in 2016 to pursue The Galileo full time.
Solsona’s passion runs through both her personal and business life. She enjoys adrenaline fuelled activities such as rock-climbing, bungee jumping and sky diving. She is also a qualified helicopter pilot. She believes in making each day count and putting time, energy and soul into everything she does – it’s clearly a winning formula.