Join us on a tour round some remarkable cinema locations that will take us both to bustling public places and round hidden corners of Brussels, in the company of a cinema fan who, having spent years burrowing into archives, has gleaned a wealth of stories and precious documents and will lead us on a journey of discovery to these mysterious places, where the secret memories and the splendour of Brussels cinema history come to life
Cinemas in the St. Gilles district
We will get to know what used to be one of the most popular and most frequented cinema districts in Brussels with the spotlight on the celebrated and fascinating Aegidium complex with its Art Nouveau interior.
The luxury cinemas of the Thirties
This is your chance to discover some of the most spectacular locations of the first golden age of cinema, the Marivaux, the Metropole, the Eldorado, the Plaza and the Varietés, when going out to watch a show was a memorable occasion set in grandiose decors.
* The era of the “cinématographe”
The imaginative precursors and the first proper cinema locations, when the Agora and the Pathé Palace were the finest cinemas in the city …
* The cinema industry in Saint-Josse
Taking a glimpse at the development laboratories, the cinemagoers, the distributors, the operators, the usherettes, the sign painters and film distribution circuits, we make our way from the original cinema district in Rue Royale to the “cinemas of Saint-Josse”.
* Fancy an evening out at the cinema?
Where can you see a film in the centre of Brussels today? Discovering today’s cinemas, each with its own programme and characteristics …
* The Cinematek, another world
One of the world’s finest collections of films from 1895 to the present day covering all genres. Films are shown in a new location equipped with the latest cinema technology; a visit to the WUNDERKAMMER, a chamber of curiosities dating from the pre-cinema age, followed by the projection of a silent film (approx. 25 minutes).
* The intimacy of neighbourhood cinemas – a leisurely tour by bicycle.
Before the advent of television there were plenty of local cinemas where one might meet up with one’s neighbours to watch a film. This unique stroll will take you round a string of so-called “neighbourhood cinemas” in the outskirts of Brussels. All of them had their distinct personality, management style and architecture which made them the vibrant social hub of their district.
* Brussels – a film location!
Brussels with its distinctive atmosphere has always inspired Belgian and foreign film makers. From the films of the Lumière brothers to Mr. Nobody, our journey will take us from reality to imagination, through often quite ordinary film settings which are magically transformed when seen with the eyes of an artist. A series of extracts from films shot in Brussels will jolt our memories of those long gone cinemas where they were first projected and which no one has quite forgotten.