An Eclectic style façade combining blue stone, white brick and glazed green briquettes conceals a cultural complex very familiar to the residents of Brussels. When it opened in 1905, it included a café, a large theatre space with two balconies and a vast auditorium capable of accommodating one thousand theatregoers. Built according to plans drawn up by the architect Jules Hudin, the Théâtre Varia (the name was given to it by its developers, Auguste Devos and Cyrille Waegemans) struggled to be successful. Its location outside the centre of Brussels was partially to blame for this. It very quickly attempted to diversify, and became the Théâtre Verdi when it served as a venue for Italian opera. In 1914, the courtyard separating the auditorium and the building facing the street was covered over in order to increase the space and to improve theatregoers’ comfort in bad weather conditions. Films were screened there from 1924. Forgotten and abandoned, the venue was converted into a garage before a trio of theatre directors (Marcel Delval, Michel Dezoteux and Philippe Sireuil) most fortuitously took an interest in its future. It was acquired by the French-speaking Community, which began to restore it in 1987, reinstating its original function. Today, the Théâtre Varia is one of the must-see cultural venues on the Brussels scene.
Rue du Sceptre/Scepterstraat 78