Slice of Life: Lux stood for 1994. That’s when it fell

The show would always start at 8pm, but my mom used to collect the ticket money so we would get to the theatre earlier.

In the cafeteria, people would be setting up the ticket box and we would watch everything come together. Everyone wanted a ticket to the Luxurama Theatre.

Inside the foyer, the lights were all on and it looked so beautiful because the walls were covered with mirrors. Then you walked into the theatre. It was pitch black, but when the lights came on you’d see these velvet curtains hanging, covering the cinema screen. The seats were covered in velvet, too.

We used to stand backstage a lot. We never really enjoyed the show from the front because the crowd was too big. We just watched from the wings.

My dad and my mom loved music, and the musicians became huge to us as we grew up. As a teenager, I’d stand next to that very same person thinking “I listened to you as a kid”. Nuraan Boltman, the saxophonist, was one of those people to me. I loved jazz because of her. Then she came to the Lux to perform in a show by Zayn Adams and Taliep Petersen when I was 16. I was star-struck.

There were performers who demanded to only play for a mixed crowd. At the time, I didn’t know that these political things were going on. The owner of the Lux was arrested for playing banned movies.

What the Lux stood for was 1994 — to bring everyone together. And that was actually when the Luxurama fell, because no one looked after it.

There’s no power to the building anymore. The ceiling is broken and the place is a health risk.

No one took into consideration that this place is going to be destroyed if you don’t look after it. I spent 25 years of my life in there and the place is dead. Now, all I want is for the memories to be restored. — Liesel Priem (38), who is making a documentary about her childhood home, the Luxurama Theatre in Cape Town, as told to Ra’eesa Pather.

Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.

Stranded commuters say Ramaphosa’s rail promises ring hollow

Cape Town’s largest passenger rail line has been closed for months, hitting people’s pockets and adding to road traffic congestion

EFF ‘circus’ becomes contagion as MPs heckle Malema

ANC MPs test the EFF’s disruptive tactics on the leader of the Red Berets in Sona reply

Ramaphosa ‘neutral’ in Mkhwebane, Parliament impeachment row

However, the president says even if he has a conflict of interest, another Cabinet member could suspend the public protector

Strike-off case pulls in judge

Judge Mushtak Parker is implicated in an application to strike off his former partners. He is also involved in the fight between the Western Cape high court’s judge president and his deputy

Press Releases

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders

So you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Do the research first; it will save money and time later

Social entrepreneurship means business

Enterprises with a cause at their core might be exactly what our economy desperately needs

Looking inwards

Businesses are finding tangible ways to give back – but only because consumers demand it