Icon of the avant-garde: The Labia cinema turns 70


Icon of the avant-garde: The Labia cinema turns 70

The Cape Town landmark has a history of defying age, class and cultural boundaries - and its ethos is undimmed

Georgia Carter

When people were separated from one another under apartheid and censorship ruled, the Labia Theatre – an independent cinema in Cape Town – was a striking exception in a “white” area.

“The Labia was in the forefront of pushing the envelope,” said co-owner Ann Kraus, as it celebrated its 70th anniversary this year. The cinema, like the Long Street Baths down the road, is an historic landmark of the city.

Prior to 1994, it remained open to everyone despite segregation, and managed to screen provocative films before shadowy censors struck...

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