THE ABANDONED THEATER IN BELGIUM
This beautiful old theatre ‘Cinéma-théâtre Varia‘ is located in the district of Jumet, in the north of the city of Charleroi. The concrete building in Art-Nouveau style eventually closed in 1986.
The construction of the building was started in 1913, it was designed by Eugène Claes, an architect from Verviers. The building houses a hall with 1,500 seats. To the left is a second, narrower building that for example housed the main entrance, a cafe and the concierge’s apartments.
The establishment has lived many lives. First it was a theater and a music hall where artists like Jacques Brel performed. Further it was used as a stage for classic ballet and other dances. During it lasts years it became a cinema.
The theater was abandoned in 1986 after 75 years of entertaining the locals. The building is emptied, except one projector. Today it is an empty building, all the decorations are gone. However the place is impressive by its size, its large balconies and its large red curtain.
‘Cinéma-théâtre Varia‘ is one of the last movie theaters dating before the First World War that are still there in Belgium. That’s why eventually in 1992, the facades and roof slope are classified as historical monuments.
During the year 2000, the Walloon Heritage Institute became the owner of Theater. Renovations started at the end of 2004 but were cancelled due to a lack of funds. The future for this impressive building is still unsure. I visited the derelict building in 2008. Follow this link for more abandoned theaters.