Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Cinema Nova’s future assured 'until 2092' following successful fundraising campaign

15:10 17/03/2024

The historic Cinema Nova in Brussels has managed to raise €833,700 in its recent campaign, enough to acquire a 68-year lease and pay for some urgent renovation works, such as a new boiler.

The 21-week fundraising campaign was a success, Bruzz reports, with the future and cultural operations of the cinema assured until 2092.

The theatre’s lease was set to expire in May and rising property prices prompted the creation of the Supernova Coop cooperative, which sold shares to raise the required funding. Some 3,000 people have donated to acquire one or more shares in the cooperative.

The amount raised exceeded expectations, with the official end-date of the campaign initially set for 8 June.

“We are very satisfied with that,” said Marie-Eve Cosemans of Cinema Nova.

“We didn’t expect the campaign to be such a great success. The future and cultural functioning of the cinema are now secured until 2092, a date I probably won't live to see myself.”

Supernova Coop will lease the building to Cinema Nova under the condition that it must remain a cultural project. In the event Cinema Nova ever changes its concept, the building cannot be rented out to commercial projects.

The final steps include signing the lease, which Cosemans said requires a lot of administrative work.

“But we already know in the meantime that the 30 April deadline is achievable,” she said, and in fact if the lease is signed before that date, the cooperative will avoid a significant increase in registration fees.

The fundraising campaign will continue running in the meantime, with further proceeds to go to renovation works. A maximum of €267,050 worth of shares can still be sold.

“With that extra amount we can make sure we are fully compliant with, among other things, the Brussels region's standards for ecological renovation by 2050,” Cosemans explained.

A celebration of the campaign’s success is planned for early summer, with details to be released in the near future.

Cinema Nova took over from Cinema Arenberg in 1997, offering alternative, non-market programming.

“This means that there’s room for places that think outside the box,” said Gwenaël Brees, one of the members of the Supernova Coop cooperative.

“We know that rents are going up in Brussels and it's the same for tenants and cultural venues – the higher the costs, the weaker the social, political and cultural offer.

"And what we're in the process of doing is taking this building off the property market for 68 years and guaranteeing its cultural use."

Written by Helen Lyons