American theatre closes after 55 years


While other buildings disappeared after the World Fair, the American Pavilion survived in a new role as a venue for live television and radio programmes broadcast by Flemish television – now the VRT. 

It was the scene of a number of legendary live TV shows and in 1964, the Rolling Stones were invited to the AT for an interview for “Tienerklanken”, a music programme for teenagers.

The American Theater with is characteristic circular shape was designed by architect Edward Durell Stone. In recent years however the emblematic building became increasingly costly to operate due to increasing maintenance costs and  the studios were no longer up to modern standards. The VRT finally decided to give up the venue up and organised a farewell ceremony 5th May at which the glory days of the AT were recalled. At the event were the VRT’s 1,700 staff, presenters, journalists and also media celebrities.

The building is now for sale and some feel that a piece of Flemish cultural history is being lost.