Renovation Continues on Switzerland’s Largest Cinema


Switzerland’s largest cinema,  the 750-seat Capitole in Lausanne, will re-open its doors in February. Audiences will be able to watch 70mm films on a giant screen, the only one of its kind in the country.

At the end of February, at the first screening, “Capitole” will appear in neon letters on the façade of the century-old cinema in the centre of Lausanne. “We’ll be setting the film titles in metal letters,” Frédéric Maire, director of the Cinémathèque suisse, the Swiss Film Archive, told the press on Wednesday during a site visit. But this won’t be the case for all the films, he said, “because it’s easy to get the letters down [and run off with them]”.

With the two cinemas in the new Maison du Cinéma and a total of 900 seats, the number of screenings and events will increase.

For the previews of the Directors’ Fortnight or the current Cosmos retrospective with films such as Interstellar or 2001: A Space Odyssey, Maire is betting that audiences will want to see them in the large auditorium.

The work on this nationally recognised major heritage jewel will have cost CHF21.6 million ($24.1 million) out of a project budgeted at CHF18 million.

Designed by architect Charles Thévenaz in 1928, the Capitole boasts several firsts: it is the largest Swiss cinema still in operation and the first panoramic screen in Switzerland was installed here in 1959. It will also be the only cinema in Switzerland to offer 70mm film projection.

The renovated spaces will also accommodate a consultation room for the Swiss Film Archive, a shop, DVD library and specialist bookshop, as well as a café. Wheelchair users will be able to access the Maison du Cinéma, which will be equipped with a lift.

Source : SWI