Take a step back in time and experience old school charm at the Labia Theatre on Orange Street. Ludi Kraus, the founder and owner of The Labia, opened the renowned theatre over 25 years ago. Ludi’s passion for film goes back to his childhood days, when his love for cinema evolved from the elegant cinema in Windhoek that his parents ran. After studying law in Cape Town, Ludi soon realised that his heart was still in theatre and in 1988 he found the perfect location to bring his dream to life.
In the 1930s The Labia was a ballroom for the Italian Embassy, and ten years later it reopened as a stage theatre and finally in 1988 it became a cinema. Today it’s an independent cinema and iconic landmark in Cape Town. Once Ludi opened the cinema he wanted it to maintain its vintage appeal and left the original seating, wood panelling and box office in place. On my visit to this charming establishment, I was greeted by Rose, the friendly box office manager, who has been with the theatre for most of their journey. She took me down memory lane, chatting about the history, the people and the stream of art films they’ve shown on their silver screen over the years.
As an independent theatre, The Labia relies on their loyal customers to stay afloat. Obviously, they are doing something right, with a collection of Capetonians gathering outside their doors every night. The best part about this theatre is enjoying a movie like the Grand Budapest Hotel, with a paper bag of popcorn and glass of wine in hand. The theatre is relaxing and charismatic, and it’s perfect for either date night or an outing with friends.
Everyone in Oranje-Kloof loves The Labia and its formed part of our vibrant community. A number of restaurants have shown their support towards the theatre by offering fantastic specials to their customers – which include the movie ticket! Note that you need to buy your movie ticket at The Labia first, and then take it to the relevant restaurant:
Mondays: R75 seafood at Ocean Basket on Kloof Street
Monday and Tuesday: R90 pasta special at Societi Bistro
Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays: R75 special at Diva Café Restaurant
Thursdays and Fridays: R75 special at Kauai on Kloof Street.
So make a date to join them for a specular movie experience and have a look at their schedule before popping in.