There was another moment in our new film theatre’s construction that I want to remember for when it’s all finished. This time, it was stepping into a space and being able to imagine: this will be the main theatre, 22 meters long, 13 meters wide, and 8 meters high!


The screen will be here, the seats there. The spaces are still large empty concrete boxes, but that will rapidly change in the coming months. It’s hard to believe that most of these boxes will soon disappear beneath ground level. The area just above these spaces will form part of the courtyard between the Lumière and Muziekgieterij.

This courtyard will soon be available for various activities. I hope nobody puts a marquee there and sinks large pegs deep into the ground.

Perhaps something to consider for the future…

The film theatres are newly built using endless amounts of concrete and steel. Progress is now being made. Pour as much concrete before it gets too cold is the maxim. We’ve had enough delays, and everything needs to be ready for September 2016.

Work is also being done on restoring the old power station, which, of course, will not require a new building. However, this is a slower process. It involves demolishing, preserving, and restoring, all with extreme precision. It’s great to see but very time-consuming. Due to the unplanned asbestos removal, there’s a 19-week delay, which might have a knock-on effect because bricks can’t be laid when it is freezing.

We hope it won’t be a severe winter and will be mild like last year. Perhaps lighting some votive candles at the Basilica of Our Lady might help.

The walls are stripped and floors removed, revealing the contours of the beautiful, monumental space that will be the café and restaurant. Recesses have been made for the stairways and corridors. Even without the stairs and floors, I can already get a better idea of the finished product. This immediately raises questions such as how will the space work, and how will the light fall?


The next big step after conserving, demolishing, and rebuilding is developing the look and feel. This is down to our advisor, Dorine de Vos, and we have already seen her first sketches.

They are exciting and imaginative, but that’s all I want to say for now. Perhaps we will reveal more next time… who knows.

Nico Haenen