Lumière opens new indie cinema in Antwerp


The owners of Lumière Brugge and Cinema Cartoon’s have expanded into the former Cinema Zuid space in Antwerp’s photography museum

Musical cinemas

The former Cinema Zuid, located in Antwerp’s photography museum FoMu, will soon reopen as Lumière Antwerpen. The cinema had been closed for a few months after the city’s M HKA museum moved its Cinema Zuid programme out of FoMu and over to De Studio.

Lumière Antwerpen, meanwhile, is being run by the people of the beloved indie cinema Cartoon’s. “We want to develop the same kind of dynamic here that we have at Cinema Cartoon’s,” said the owners, Jon Michelena and Jan-Willem Van Eemeren, in a statement. “That means a diverse programme of the best new local, European and world cinema. We also want to foster a link with the FoMu and the lively Antwerpen Zuid neighbourhood.”

The new cinema, as well as Cinema Cartoon’s, is owned by the same pair who own Lumière Brugge. That cinema, with four screens in the heart of Flanders’ most popular tourist destination, opened in 1996 and is still going strong.

Lumière has grown into a film distributor and producer. Another Lumière cinema is expected to open In Mechelen in 2022.

It all adds up to a remarkable confidence in the independent cinema sector in the age of streaming. “I am delighted with this new initiative,” said culture city councillor Nabilla Ait Daoud. “Antwerp has a long film and cinema tradition that is being continued and reinforced by these two extra screens. We have offered our support to this project to give Antwerp residents a bigger selection of quality film in a modern and comfortable setting.”

Lumière Antwerpen opens on 18 December.

Photo: Jon Michelena (left) and Jan-Willem Van Eemeren will run the new Lumière Antwerpen