So why move?

No doubt it’s a question some of you would ask: just why does Lumière suddenly feel the need to move? We think we have plenty of good reasons, here are just a few.

One of the main reasons is that the current building is pushing the limits of its useful life. Some of its parts are worn-out to the extent of wall plaster coming loose and rain finding its way inside.
Also, though some might find charm in watching a film packed in a small stuffy room, fact of the matter is that often during busy weekends, our auditoriums are too small to meet its potential capacity.

Also, the climate for showing quality films in The Netherlands is in constant flux. In other cities successful outside investment in big film theaters and cinema duplexes has seen a shift in the market, with more mainstream arthouse-films now only being released in the most commercially-oriented venues out there.
In order not to fall behind, we simply need more seats. Lumière is the only theater in the province where arthouse films are being shown right from the day they have their Dutch cinema-release.
In order to still be able to screen these films, and also remain financially solvent to be able to program those films that only cater to a small cinephile audience, we need rooms with a larger capacity. It’s as simple as that.

There’s more. You enjoy our drinks, and we sure love serving them. In actuality quite a large part of our revenue comes from the drinks sold at the bar. So from that viewpoint, and that of the customer, it seems a shame that sometimes on a Saturday evening people can’t find any place to sit to enjoy their cappuccino, soft drink, or Gulpener-beers. Wouldn’t it be nice if in the near future no one would be forced to leave Lumière after a film to look for a place to sit for a quiet conversation?

And wouldn’t it also be better if we were able to offer our visitors some quality food? We think so, and our new venue would provide room to establish a spacious cafe with plenty of seats and a pleasant and affordable restaurant.


Will Lumière be the owner of the new building?

No. The municipality’s plans stipulate that Maastricht should have an arthouse cinema. By that reasoning it follows that the government has to provide us with financial support. Otherwise an arthouse theatre such as Lumière simply wouldn’t be able to exist. Therefore, the city of Maastricht is the de facto owner of Lumière. And it is also in keeping with their wishes that we move to a new and sustainable location.

In order to exploit the premises, Lumière has signed a lease contract with the municipality. Lumière Cinema itself is, and will continue to be, an independent foundation.


When will the new Lumière be open?

We hope to be able to open our doors to the public June 2016. That’s also the time when we will stop showing films at our current location. In the beginning we will need a couple of weeks to make sure that all things run smoothly. After ironing out the last few creases, we should be set to start in december 2015 at the latest. And sure enough, we hope to kick things of with a grand big opening…


How many screening rooms will there be?

The new Lumière will have 6 auditoriums, with a total capacity for 500 people. We will have three rooms with approximately 50 seats, two medium-to-large ones that are able to seat 90 people, and one large room with at least 160 seats. In contrast: our current venue also has 6 auditoriums, but a capacity of only 330. The larger room is indispensable if we want to continue to host special events with guests, lecturers and debates, and to be able to stage exclusive film-premières and such.


Will your film-programme be different in any way?

No. Just as is the case now, our regular programme will still comprise of a healthy mix of films of audience-friendly international arthouse- and festival-favourites and those films that sometimes can seem to exist only to please a few hardened cinephiles. At the same time we will try to increase our focus on one-off special screenings, festivals, film-related lectures and the like. So visitors can expect more or the less the same from us.

Plus we will invest even more in special activities to provide for those members of our audience who love the art of cinema as much as we do.


Is there a possibility to grab a bite before or after a screening?

Yes there will be. One of the things we felt was sorely lacking from our current set-up is the opportunity for our visitors to enjoy a meal or snack before going to see a film. So in our new venue, we made room for a large restaurant as well as a lavish bar. We’ll try to keep things nice, cosy and green, so you can expect good and fair food at affordable prizes in an easygoing atmosphere.

Dorine de Vos, whose name is attached to the hugely successful and appealing “Hotel New York’ and ‘Villa Augustus’ restaurants in the cities of Rotterdam and Dordrecht, is so kind as to give us her indelible styling and interior advice.


How easy will it be to reach Lumière in the future by car, bicycle, etc.?

Lumière’s new entrance will be at the “Het Bassin”- inner harbour, which is situated at approximately 700 meters from Maastricht’s main market-square.

People who plan to visit us by car have the possibility to park at the large Sphinx-parking facility at the Boschstraat. The new tram-stop of the Hasselt-Maastricht route will be located almost directly across our entrance and there’s a bus stop in the close vicinity.

The municipality also made plans to install many new bicycle stands at the nearby Timmerfabriek.


Will you be open during the day?

Yes, we plan on being open even more often than we are now. That means that visitors can grab a film everyday from 2 p.m. onwards. The restaurant will also be open for people who want to enjoy an early lunch. When the weather permits, our pleasant waterside terrace will also be open for business.


I’m really curious to have a look inside already. Would that somehow be possible?

We’ll do our best to keep our visitors informed on the progress we make. We’re also engaged in talks with the municipality, in order to receive permission to enter the buildings currently under renovation with groups of interested people.

Due to building and safety constraints, no plans have been green-lit so far. In the meantime, please keep an eye out for updates on the “work in progress”-section of this site.


Can I, as someone who loves to visit Lumière, be of any help in any way?

There’s still lots to be done, and surely the best way anyone can help is to continue to publicly support us. It should also be possible in the near future to financially ‘adopt’ a seat from any of our brand new rooms. Information about this will hopefully soon be available.