Varieties Theater

Rue de Malines 25,
Brussels 1000

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Additional Info

Architects: Victor Bourgeois, Maurice Gridaine

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Varieties Cinerama

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Varieties Theater

Opened in 1937, the Varieties Theater replaced an earlier entertainment palace known as the ‘Moulin Rouge’. The architects of the Varieties were from France; Victor Bourgeois and Maurice Gridaine. It is located in the Centre of Brussels on a narrow side road, off the Adolphe Maxlann behind the Plaza Hotel & Plaza Cinema building.

The present building was conceived to run cine-variety, with a large stage that was equipped with a revolve and an orchestra pit that could be elevated. Seating was in orchestra and balcony levels and the roof of the auditorium could be opened in the summer. On the first floor was the ‘Bagdad Cafe’.

The Varieties was converted in a Cinerama theatre in 1961 opening with the 3 strip projection system on 22nd December 1961 and this continued until 2nd December 1963. It then went over to screening 70mm prints from 19th December 1963 and closed in 1975. It briefly re-opened for a short ‘Spaciovision’ season in 1977, then went over to screening regular movies intermittently until it finally closed in 1983.

In 1984 it suffered from flood damage and the building has been left abandoned and derelict since then.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

RobertR on April 20, 2005 at 6:52 pm

What’s “Spaciovision” was it a 3-D system?

Yves Marchand
Yves Marchand on May 9, 2010 at 7:11 am

This page features a couple of pictures taken recently inside the theater :
View link

Lionel on February 17, 2020 at 6:59 am

I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark in 70mm here in 1981. The foyer and auditorium were covered with a dark blue carpet (both floor and walls). Seats were in white leather which I found horrible.

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