CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

The Hydrophone

Ordinary phone booths are an endangered species in this, the smartphone age. But artists and tech geniuses are reinventing phone booths around the globe.

This booth, located in the Hortillonnages in Amiens, France, is designed to better connect its users with nature. Visitors to the marshy location pick up the receiver and hear sounds of lesser-known wildlife in the area.

Published:Caption:Photo:Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images
1
of 16

A salad bar in a phone booth

This phone booth in London's Bloomsburg Square has been given new life as a gourmet salad restaurant. Spier's Salads, run by Ben Spier, offers a deli-style selection of dishes that include an avocado pesto pasta with cherry tomatoes, and a nectarine-based couscous.

Published:Caption:Photo:Spier's Salads
2
of 16

A phone-booth-size library

Many older British Telecom phone booths have been repurposed through the company's Adopt a Kiosk program. This box, in Michaelstone-le-Pit, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, is now a free community library.

Published:Caption:Photo:Daniel R. Jones/Getty Images
3
of 16

The world's smallest dance club

The creators of Berlin, Germany's Teledisko have turned an abandoned phone booth into the world's smallest dance club. For 2 euros per song, you (and as many friends as you can cram into the box) can dance the night away.

Published:Caption:Photo:Teledisko
4
of 16

Inside the Teledisko

You get more than just music inside the Teledisko. The 2 euro price includes access to strobe lighting, a disco ball and a fog machine. There are cameras inside, too, in case you want to share your unusual experience on social media.

Published:Caption:Photo:Teledisko
5
of 16

Sculpture on London Road

British Telecom has made thousands of disused phone boxes available to the public for repurposing. David Mach created this sculpture in Kingston Upon Thames, London in 1999.

Published:Caption:Photo:Heritage Images/Getty Images
6
of 16

Banksy street art

Of course, active phone booths can be made into street art exhibits. This Banksy work is located in Cheltenham, England, about three miles away from the country's GCHQ surveillance agency.

Published:Caption:Photo:Matt Cardy/Getty Images
7
of 16

The phone booth aquarium

Artists Benedetto Bufalino and Benoit Deseille turned an old phone booth into an aquarium for the Lumiere London 2016 light festival.

Published:Caption:Photo:Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images
8
of 16

The world's smallest art gallery

Sculptor Kent Viberg turned an old phone booth into this, the world's smallest art gallery. His 'Galleri' has made appearances in a number of towns in South Sweden.

Published:Caption:Photo:Johan Nilsson/AFP/Getty Images
9
of 16

Making a call inside a giant brain

Phone booths in San Paulo, Brazil, are often revamped with a second purpose as public works of art.

Published:Caption:Photo:Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/GettyImages
10
of 16

More Brazilian craziness

Here's another utterly bizarre Brazilian phone booth.

Published:Caption:Photo:Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/GettyImages
11
of 16

Make a call and charge your car

To maintain their relevance in the 21st century, a number of old phone booths were converted into dual-purpose electric car charging stations in Madrid, Spain.

Published:Caption:Photo:Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images
12
of 16

Payphones with free Wi-Fi

In November 2014, Australian phone provider Telstra began building free Wi-Fi service into its public phone booths in high profile areas, like this one in Canberra.

Published:Caption:Photo:Simon McGill, Moment Editorial/Getty Images
13
of 16

NYC's old Internet phones

These older-style TCC Teleplex phones, first installed in 2002, now offer Internet connectivity...at the rate of 25 cents per minute.

Published:Caption:Photo:Stephen Chernin/Getty Images
14
of 16

Germany has a phone booth graveyard, too

Deutsche Telekom's phone booth graveyard, located near Berlin, is impressive in size.

These brightly colored booths will soon get a second chance at life, though. The company sells them to the public for between 300 and 400 euros a piece.

Published:Caption:Photo:Ralf Hirschberger/AFP/Getty Images
15
of 16

A phone box turned time machine

Our favorite use for an old phone booth -- or police call box, whatever -- is this particular conversion to a working machine that traverses both time and space.

It looks much bigger on the inside.

Published:Caption:Photo:BBC
16
of 16
Up Next

Meet the US Navy's new $13 billion aircraft carrier