The ABC Cinema is an exceptional vintage cinema from the seventies, situated on one of the busiest boulevards of Brussels. The ABC “Cinéma Spectacle” opened its doors in 1971 as a theatre specialised in pornographic films, with striptease shows in between. For over forty years the theatre held on to this formula, and became one of the last European porn theatres still showing its movies on 35mm film. The ABC would finally shut down in 2013.
While not especially big, the theatre offers a nice volume with a ground floor and balcony. Right in front of the screen is a large stage. The theatre holds about a hundred seats.
The theatre has the potential to house a variety of multidisciplinairy activities.
The ceiling of the small foyer leading towards the balcony, is decorated by an impressive fresco collage.
Though Brussels has dozens of disused movie theatres, the ABC is a particular case. It’s still fully equipped as a cinema hall and remains largely unchanged since its date of construction. The genuine seventies style oozes atmosphere. The theatre’s modest volume makes the idea of a reboot all the more realistic, as new activities can be organised without the need for big refurbishing or reconstructing works.
The ABC “cinema-spectacle” has an enormous potential.
Its infrastructure and location lend themselves perfectly to maintain the building’s theatrical function and turn the former ABC into a sustainable and vital participation and meeting place for film, music and other arts.
Though Brussels has dozens of disused movie theatres, the ABC is a particular case. It’s still fully equipped as a cinema hall and remains largely unchanged since its date of construction. The genuine seventies style oozes atmosphere. The theatre’s modest volume makes the idea of a reboot all the more realistic, as new activities can be organised without enormous refurbishing or reconstructing works. It holds an unique opportunity.
When news suddenly came up that the building was in danger of turning into yet another faceless snack bar or shop on the central Brussels North-South axis; members of Cinema Nova, Offscreen/vzw Marcel and La Rétine de Plateau joined forced on a project to save the place.
It’s an insane project. In a few weeks time a whole legal structure is created to take on the rental contract and provide all rental fees for a whole year: the time deemed necessary to provide a healthy start for the cultural project before it can take over the reins. The Cineact foundation was founded in all urgency and launches an appeal for donations to help finance this engagement.
Join us in our mission to preserve this piece of Brussels heritage and transform it into a vibrant cultural hotspot. Thanks to your input, this cinephile dream will soon come true !