Enjoying a movie doesn’t have to mean staying at home or sitting in a sanitised multiplex. Brussels has several alternative options and first one up is the Styx cinema, dubbed “Le cinema de la memoire”.
Established in the late 60s, Styx offers an extensive selection of independent releases and classics from its townhouse location in Ixelles.
Styx is one of the smallest commercial cinemas in Europe (two theatres with 38 seats each) and one in which filmgoers can enjoy a varied collection of films in a nearly reverential setting.
The theatres in Styx are also available for rent for private screenings and a large list of titles is available to choose from.
A more-central theatre offering fresh independent productions is Cinema Nova. This is run as a non-profit association by volunteers who claim that “Nova has become an important reference point for alternative, unconventional or simply different approaches to the audiovisual arts”. We’re not about to argue.
Nova runs its screening based on a monthly theme and also organises various other audiovisual exhibitions and festivals. Films are shown daily at around 8pm and there are also regular midnight screenings. As a bonus, there’s also a funky and unpretentious bar with cheap food and lively conversation.
The Royal Movie Archive of Belgium is now one of the most comprehensive collections of films in the world, second only to the collection in Paris with more than 70,000 titles. The renovated Cinematek in the Bozar building makes good use of it all with regular showings of classics, rare cult movies and experimental cinema.
Another place worth checking out, both for its varied crowd and arts focus, is The Beursschouwburg (or Beurs Café). This is a large, downtown arts centre featuring contemporary theatre, film, dance and exhibitions. The summer rooftop terrace is a must, too.
72 Rue de l’Arbre Bénit
Tel: 02 512 21 02
3 Rue d’Arenberg
Tel: 02 511 24 77
9 Baron Hortastraat
Tel: 02 551 19 19