Labia Theatre – the times of a cinema

Labia Theatre

The Labia Theatre is the oldest Independent Art-Repertory Cinema in South Africa, showing the best of circuit, independent movies, foreign films, documentaries, classics, and other alternative and art circuit films.

The theatre consists of four screens, a 176-seater, a 100, a 65-seater, an intimate 50-seater.

We are so happy and deeply honoured to be hosted by this stunning cinema theatre.

Please find below a short interview with the manager of the cinema – Mr. Ludi Kraus.

You became interested in cinema during childhood. Please tell us what power does cinema have over you?
I grew up in Windhoek, Namibia, where my father owned an independent cinema. I became involved from an early age, and cinema runs in my blood.

Tell us about your feelings when you became head of a cinema. What traditions have you kept and what innovations have you added?
Although I studied law, and practised for about thirteen years, cinema is my first love, and in 1989 I acquired the business of the Labia Theatre in Cape Town, South Africa. I have made numerous changes during my thirty plus years including the expansion from one to four screens, and the conversion a few years ago to digital.

Ludi Kraus

left to right John Walsh, Ann Kraus, Biata Walsh, Ludi Kraus

In your opinion, what is the uniqueness of Labia cinema?
The Labia is unique as it combines olde school ambience with modern technology. It is known for its quirkiness. In addition to the four screens, it has a beautiful garden Terrace. I am assisted by my wife, Ann, in the cinema, and Biata and John regarding the Terrace and the catering. We further have a loyal staff of about fifteen employees.

What values do you bring to the audience in your cinema?
We concentrate on quality commercial films, catered events, film festivals and seasons, documentaries, and the odd foreign language films. We try to instil a love for movies through the medium of film.

In your opinion, what are the challenges of a cinema owner?
There are many challenges. These were aggravated by the Covid epidemic. Fortunately, we appear to be regaining our pre-Covid momentum.

How do you see the future of Labia cinema?
I believe that the future of the Labia looks bright, and that more and more younger audiences are discovering and enjoying the magical Labia experience.

What do you like most about the concept of the Film O’Clock International Festival? Why?
The Film O’Clock International Festival should challenge our audiences and offer them films that would not normally be available to them.

Festival Film O’Clock for me is … Please continue.
Festival Film O’Clock for me is a challenge and the hope of introducing something new.