Labia Theatre

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The Labia Theatre is a venue in Cape Town, suitable for live theatre and cinema.

Also found as The Labia Cinema, it is most popularly known simply as "The Labia"

Situated at 68 Orange Street in the Gardens, Cape Town, this was originally a ballroom, belonging to the Italian Embassy next door. In May 1949 it was opened as a live theatre by Princess Labia. This rebuilding was done as a collaborative venture by the Cape Town Repertory Theatre Society and the Kaapstadse Afrikaanse Toneelvereniging to be utilised for theirt activities.

The Adult Education Division of the Department of Higher Education contributed to the costs in renovating the site. The Cape Town Reps broke their long standing bond with the Little Theatre, producing Farquhar’s The Beaux Strategem as final production at the Little Theatre(*?) in 1948 before moving to the new venue. The theatre was officially opened on 16 May 1949. Although it allowed both companies to raise the standard of their productions, it also imposed an additional financial burden on them, leading in large part to the disbandment of the Kaapstadse Afrikaanse Toneelvereniging (KAT) in 1962, and later leading the Reps to sell their share in it. Other companies who used it include **?? In 19** it became a popular independent cinema in the Cape Town, showing art movies in particular*, a role it still fulfills. The Labia Theatre: In Cape Town. Des and Dawn Lindberg joined Robert Kirby in his show 8 Birds at the Labia in 1970. ****

Also used by numerous other local amateur and professional companies from 1949 till 1980, including **

In 1981 it was converted to a cinema and is the oldest remaining independent art-repertory cinema in the country. For the past 29 years, it has been operating as a cinema on the alternative circuit.


Wikipedia [1]

P.J. Du Toit, 1988; Donald Inskip 1977; Percy Tucker, 1997 [JH, FdV, SH]

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