Hg2 : The Hedonist


Opened as a live theatre venue in 1949 by Princess Labia, this remains one of the oldest surviving independent cinema in Cape Town (or indeed in the country), with four screens in the former ballroom of the Italian Embassy, located in the armpit of the bend at the top of Orange Street (practically next door to the Mount Nelson hotel). It is a true original, where the popcorn still smells the way popcorn did before the days of faux spicing, and you can purchase a glass of wine to wash it down with. The programme is a mix of new releases and festival fare, and while there are occasionally some downright commercial products, the general tendency is for the more interesting titles to appear here. The sprinkling of tables in the outside terrace makes for a sociable pre- or post-film haunt, and the cinema benefits from a liquor licence and a bar and sweets counter operated by one or two of Cape Town’s genuine old souls. (Note that the secondary Labia, in Kloof Street’s Lifestyle Centre, has none of this old-style romance.)

68 Orange Street, Gardens,
City Bowl
+27 21 424 5927
Opening Times
Check website for films and showtimes
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