The Cinema Theater Varia
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One More Abandoned Wonder
Built from 1910 to 1913 by the architect E.Claes, this theater is made from reinforced concrete.
It has an impressive Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) façade. This is one of the last cinema theater dating from before the first World War remaining in Belgium.
The "Ciné Varia" is today a derelict building. All the interior design have disappeared. Yet the place is still beautiful with its large interior volume, wide balconies and great red curtain.
Infiltrating the building is difficult, so the place has remained protected from vandalization, theft and taggers.
And then what happened? 1986 is the year of the abandonment of the building. In year 1992, the main façade and parts of the roof of the theater are listed as an historical monument. In 2000 the Walloon heritage institute owns the building. Facades should recover their aspect from the beginning of the XXth Century, but the works start only end of 2004!
Mid-2005, date of the exploration of the Theater. Due to lack of funds, the works are stopped. Projects of a new cultural center? Home for the childhood? Whatever... These best intentions seem futureless now...
More about Belgian Art-Nouveau style? Here!
This theater looks like it would function as a fantastic concert venue. Unlike many theaters in the US that have been abandoned, this looks like it's in relatively great shape, and the way the space is designed it wouldn't take much too much money to make it work. Just by looking at pictures, i bet the acoustics would be fantastic. Ugh...I'm such a dreamer.
Thanks for your comment.
How is it inside? Is it safe? Can you walk anywhere?
Still there, still doable.
It's slightly tricky, though. Like Jeno said, you have to climb up the scafolding, but we found it works without car, too.
It's definitely easier with a car to hop off from, but if you're a good climber it's possible without. Don't carry too heavy backpacks, though. We didn't find any open windows, but behind the VERY helpful (though slightly see-through) covering was a way down. To the far left was a little kind of dugged hole that was quite small but might get you inside (or, with bad luck, under the whole thing) or you just use the door that stood wide open to the far right side. Doesn't look like it's gonna be closed any time soon. The real tricky thing is to avoid getting seen, which from the moment the sun goes up seems almost impossible. There's constant traffic. Cars, pedestrians, sweet old grannies walking dogs. We snuck around the front (there's really no other way in) for 2,5 hours after which we must have looked VERY suspicious to the people living there.
We went away for a while and tried anew when finally the time had come. I went in first, takes around 5-10 seconds until you're up and down the other side again and therefore safe. Then I informed my friend via sms about what was going on streetsides, as I could see everthing but couldn't be seen (I hoped). After about 25 mins the next spot opened and he made it too. There's really a lot of stuff happening, in that little village.
The place is still beautiful, no graffiti, no vandalism, just lots of pigeons and their guano everywhere.
What a shame that nothing happens with this building! Cultural Barbarians!
I visitied this place two days ago. Here's an update. You can still get inside, we tried a lot of things but the only way was to park our car right under the scafolding on the front of the building, then use the car to get a little height and climb onto the construction. You can then quickly hide behind the plastic covering the scafolding. The only way to get in is on a road and it was broad daylight so you need to be swift.
On the second floor some windows are open so you can easily get in and look around. Place still looks the same, some doors and windows have been sealed though. Still very beautiful. Made this pic
Everybody: At school I work at a project for school and I need lots of information about Urban exploration. We think many of these buildings (like this one above) has to be restored! We would like to bring that to the attention from others. So please, leave a comment as answer on my request, all help is welcome!
Of course, everything is possible.
Depending of the place, everything is about the amount of effort, creativity, money, political power, etc... that you want to invest.
Just one question, is it possible to get inside this building and or any of the other buildings stated as forbidden places?
Been there today, and seems like nothing has happend since 2005 there... Beautiful location
This is an unbelievable beautiful building. It MUST be restored!!!
With a good project, it can be used again for many new purpouses, think about the cinema Roma here in Antwerp...
I wonder if that pigeon was trapped there or just for fun and found a way out...
i have warm memories of thgis building, since i have been to a big cultural underground party there when i was studying in brussels. this was in 1998/99. If it was for me , they 'd let it be in thsi state forever...
I just love the building! It's awesome and it has a lovely red stagecurtain. The fašade doesn't get me exited but it may be seen. I'm even desperate to buy it =D The interior is really great with the hugh balcony and the big sit-and-watch-space on the ground level. I would love to make a great theater of it where al the great pieces are going to play, if I had the money and the permission =) We salute thou, King Stijn I
hi, i've been at the cinema in May 2007 and it's completely sealed due to the renovation that was planned there. I don't know how far the work is done by now, but in May the whole front was covered by scaffolding and the back site is not accessible. Before the scaffolding was erected there was a way in i heard... greetz www.tdv.dl.am
How on earth did you get in? It looks so selad off completely...it would be a DREAm to have a look inside and make some photos.
Great place to go to. Just put the name on the internet and you find the adress of the abandoned place...
Very intersting description, but where is it ??