Lumière art cinema welcomed a record number of visitors in 2011: 103,500. Among them were 10,034 students (excluding the ‘discount’ Mondays when student IDs are not checked). The number of students has increased over the past few years, says business director Nico Haenen. “In 2010 the number was 7,946. The special performances together with Studium Generale and Arts and Social Sciences, and the monthly Cinema Café for foreigners have been a success. Overall, we are bursting at the seams. We hope to be able to move to the ‘Timmerfabriek’ building within two years, but the politicians have not made a decision yet."
Since last week, the art cinema uses digital projectors. Films are no longer supplied on large reels but on hard disks. Haenen: “The purchase is part of the national Digital Cinema project. Within this framework all art cinemas will make the transition to digital projectors within the next eighteen months. The mainstream cinemas have already done so. The image is much sharper and the sound quality is much better. The projectors cost fifty thousand euros each.”
Lumière’s annual film festival is no longer, the art cinema announces in its magazine. Instead, there will be monthly presentations of European and local productions by mostly young filmmakers. These may be accompanied by an interview with the director, a master class or a lecture. The first show - on 29 February - is 170 Hz by Joost van Ginkel, former student of Hogeschool Zuyd. It is a love story in sign language, with only extremely low sounds and some high tones. The film received several Golden Calf nominations, including one for Best Sound.