Abandoned movie theatre in Belgium. Merely 40 years after its opening, this cinema – which specialized in more artistic films – was forced to close due to a decreasing interest in its non-mainstream programme. Between the modern concrete walls several projectors, film reels and pellicule can still be found.
What started as a cinema with only one room, later on – after it changed hands – expanded to a four-room complex with a grand total of 850 seats. Today, after six years of abandonment, all four rooms have been cleared. Not much is left of the once cosy cinema, except for some derelict velvet cinema chairs (that scream seventies), a few film reels and an occasional movie poster in the entrance hall.
The Officers’ Quarter was built in the 1860s and throughout the course of the following century experienced a tumultuous (political) history. In the beginning, the theatre and concert hall not only featured numerous concerts by renowned philharmonic orchestras but also showcased the crème de la crème of the German acting gild in well-known theatre productions. During this time, the hall was frequently remodeled to comply with ‘modern’ demands – each time involving some of the most talented contemporary architects of the époque. During the Second World War, the Officers’ Quarter hosted many NSDAP (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)-events and even became the official ‘Kraft durch Freude Concert Hall’. After the war, the Soviets claimed the hall and dubbed it ‘Red Army Hall’; later on, they renamed it to: ‘Soviets’ Officers Club’. In those days, the club featured a cinema, library, restaurant and a discotheque. To symbolize the German-Soviet-friendship, they even placed a giant statue of Lenin in front of the buildings. After the Red Army hed left, the place became abandoned… Lenin’s statue disappeared. Nowadays, this (once) majestic theatre hall is in an advanced state of decay.