This was quite a special explore for me, the first time I visited here we didn’t get in due to it being on a busy road and the only way in via scaffolding on the side of the building in plain view of the whole world and after I had dreams of the place. I dreamt that the whole theatre was abandoned, but for some reason it was full of people all dressed up in ballgowns and suits, drinking champagne and they kept getting in my way because all I wanted to do was take photos.
After this dream I knew I had to make another go and this time we got in, it was such a beautiful place and I’m so glad I got in, it was a massive place and it certainly felt like taking a step back in time and you could almost hear the applause of the hundreds of shows that happened on the stage. I visited with Voytek and James in February 2012, the wind blowing the plastic sheeting against the windows constantly had me on edge, it was chillingly cold inside and James nearly had a very bad accident while walking down one of the staircases. He slipped on the slippery stone and fell a good few stairs down, luckily he was ok and lives to tell the tale.
The cinema was was built in 1913 and designed by architect E. Claes, the facade and roof structure were listed as historic monument in 1992 and renovation started at the end of 2004 but was recently cancelled by lack of funds, however the roof has been strengthen to stop more water damage and decay. It is a beautiful example of concrete Art Nouveau and is remains one of the few remaining pre WW1 theatres in Belgium.