Cinema Royale

Koningin Astridplein 12,
Antwerp 2018

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Additional Info

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Calypso Zoo Cinema, Calypso Zoo I & II

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Cinema Royale

The Cinema Royale is located a few feet from the entrance to the world famous Antwerp Zoo and the Central Railway Station. Originally opened in 1951 as the Calypso Zoo Cinema with one screen, it was later twinned.

For many years it has screened gay male adult films in screen 1, and ‘straight’ adult films in screen 2. The Cinema Royal was still open in October 2018 with opening hours 10am to 9pm. By August 2020 it had been closed and demolished.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 27, 2009 at 8:17 am

The Cinema Royale, photographed in August 2004:
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irishcine on June 29, 2009 at 5:51 am

I am pretty sure that when I took a photo of this cinema, about eighteen months to a year ago, it was then out of use and perhaps had been for some time. Can anyone locally confirm?

marqueemaven4 on July 22, 2023 at 1:26 pm

I visited here in August 2018. I don’t recall which level had which type of adult movies, but it really didn’t matter as the patrons there were all male and many were interested in other activities besides the movie. The ground floor was essentially flat rows of seats, with a long single set of stairs at the rear left that led up to the second floor. There was also a door at the front of the theater (opposite side from stairs/entrance) on the first floor leading to a short hallway to the restroom, which had three stalls, often occupied by two people at a time each. While there was no smoking in the theater, lobby or stairs, people seemed to smoke freely in the restroom.

The second floor was mostly flat rows of seats as well but in the back there were, I believe, about five or six rows of tiered seats, what we now call stadium seating. There was a door at the rear that led to a small open area that then led to a regular bathroom (no door at entrance) with one stall and two urinals, that seemed to be used only for normal bathroom activities, nothing else. Then there was a second set of stairs that went down in two parts (half the stairs one way, then reverse half the other way) towards the lobby area I believe. One could peek out the window while using those stairs, somewhat. Nobody seemed to smoke upstairs at all. I think they closed at 8 PM back then, despite the sign saying 9 PM. This was not really an ornate theater in any sense of the word, but rather utilitarian. I did some digging and found out the company that owned it listed 3 full time employees and gross receipts over $350,000 US per year, which would mean about 100 people patronized it each day, since I think it was around $10 US entrance at the time

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