A dance club so famous it got its history poured into film; Zillion.

Oct 10, 2021 | Urbex | 0 comments

A dance club so famous it got its history poured into film; Zillion.

Oct 10, 2021 | Urbex | 0 comments

© Brixius – Coupe Amarena

Zillion Achterkant Gebouw

01

The Idea Behind Zillion

Once a man “Frank Verstraeten” got kicked out of the well-known night club Carré due to reasons we all know they’re not very great, but thanks to this he decided to create his own night club or discotheek we like to call it here. With a magnificant technical infrastrure never seen before and he succeeded achieving this.

It was in 1996 when that very man and his business partners bought the sports hall “Going out” at the Jan Van Gentstraat 4 in Antwerp city. A year later construction finished and the club opened its doors on 16 October 1997.

He implemented impressive light shows with industrial laser systems and scanners.

Zillion Entrance Stairs - Ingang Trappen

© Photo by Alan Cuypers

02

International Fame

This mighty dance temple became instantly popular throughout Belgium, the Benelux and also eastern Europe. From the very start it attracted a lot of big media coverage and local shows where held here.

Even the restrooms were used in a video clip by the Dutch band the Vengaboys called “Boom, Boom, Boom“.

Zillion Restrooms
Zillion Restrooms Reflection in mirror
Zillion Restrooms

© Photos by Alan Cuypers

03

Its Impressive Mechanics

As a matter of fact we are not really into clubbing and night life in general, but we do like to read about local history despite not always being a very good one. We love exploring old and abandoned sites, just like this one and capture its interior for our ever-growing archive.

People will love to see these photos once again and by this medium we try to bring back the many memories this club created for thousands of people who enjoyed the nightlife in Antwerp city of Belgium.

Zillion met spinning heads

© Photo by Hannes Hulstaert

04

Memoires

As a matter of fact we are not really into clubbing and night life in general, but we do like to read about local history despite not always being a very good one. We love exploring old and abandoned sites, just like this one and capture its interior for our ever-growing archive.

People will love to see these photos once again and by this medium we try to bring back the many memories this club created for thousands of people who enjoyed the nightlife in Antwerp city of Belgium.

© Photo collection from Zillion

05

Parties @ Zillion

48 Hours

None-stop Pure goodness.

During its peak around 5000 visitors came to party at Zillion every weekend. It was a great success.

People came from Belgium, The Netherlands, Europe and later on from every corner around the world just to see this place alone.

Zillion became famous for its long 4-hours parties like this one in the weekend of 19 December 2003, Zillion Reunion.

Tickets were sold at € 15,-
And minimum age was 18.

Zillion Reunion Party December 2003

Xmas Party

Survival of the fittest.

We found this invitation at Zillion during our visit, but we are not sure if this party ever existed.

If someone knows if it did. Let us know in the comments below…

FOU was the man himself, the owner of the Zillion, also known as Frank.

Zillion Xmas Party December 2004

06

Zillion Documentary

Nightlife isn’t always safe for everyone.

It comes with many attention and media coverage in case things go not as planned and just like this man hit the news for all sorts of things.

He even admits that he could land in jail if things went really bad.

The unfortunate events happened after all and his business had to close.

© Youtube | Zillion Documentary by Dirk leestmans

© Youtube | Memories @ Club ZILLION Antwerp ( retrohouse )

07

Zillion Merch

Zillion was all about merchandise, just like these couple stickers we found during our visit in July 2015.

Zillion Stickers Merch

© Zillion Merch

08

Zillion Tour

We were lucky enough to gain access to the Zillion thanks to a good friend. We have seen many rooms, but far from everything as it was a huge complex and also pitch-black dark. It was made impossible to enter and sunlight didn’t even go in an inch.

We used our flashlights and took long-exposure shots with our cameras. It was well worth the visit as we were born and raised not very far from this place, although we have never ever placed a foot inside this club. Especially abandoned buildings are our favorites. Hence the interest to see this place when there’s no people nor activity inside.

Time went by and so did this massive dance club and in 2017 it was demolished to make space for “The Residence” building and a gas station in the Jan Van Gentstraat.

© Photos by Alan Cuypers | 04/07/2015

09

Zillion Photo Album

Let’s take a look inside.

Unfortunately we didn’t see every single room or corridor of the whole complex. It was a very warm day in Antwerp and we arrived at the side entrance where the goods went in. Packed with our cameras, flashlights and tripods we opened the locked gate and went inside. Merchandise could be found anywhere as soon as we came in. Some still in good condition and made it to my house as a souvenir.

Too bad we didn’t film our footsteps and we only took photos, video simply gives your explores another dimension and much more memory for later use. The complex was huge and creapy at the same time. Darkness is a hard and scary thing, although our flashlights helped us see where we placed our feet. Rubbish, papers, equipment, electrical wires and other stuff were lying around everywhere.

Luckily we could see a safe floor to walk on as an abandoned omplex can be a little dangerous sometimes, we are very careful with what we do. Always, everytime!

10

Zillion Film

Zillion’s name resonates in meany people’s heads and it didn’t take much creativity to start making a film about its past. The Covid-19 pandemic slowed down the initial start of the production of the movie as it was originally planned for 2020. As of August 2021 the production could finally start.

Alan got the chance to play some minor extra roles in a couple TV series shot in Belgium and when he saw the word Zillion pop up on the “in the picture” website he immediately jumped right in and applied for a role.

It was so cool to be part of the set as a visitor and dance monkey of the Zillion club. He’s so lucky to have witnessed the production process of such a intriguing story of the not-so-far-from-his-door dance club Zillion.

Expected feature release date is October 2022.

Link to the IMDB page can be found here.

© Zillion Film Cast Reveal | 27/02/2020

11

Ice Cream

As a matter of fact we are not really into clubbing and night life in general, but we do like to read about local history despite not always being a very good one. We love exploring old and abandoned sites, just like this one to capture its interior for our ever-growing unique archive.

People will love to see these photos once again and by this medium we try to bring back the many memories this club created for thousands of people who enjoyed the nightlife in Antwerp, Belgium.

The boss of Zillion “Frank Verstraeten” started his career in 1989 by opening an electronic equipment shop  in his parents’ home town Sint-Brixius-Rode. It went bankrupt in 1995 after illegal activities broke his business down. Meanwhile in the same village his parents ran an ice cream parlour, which was a family business for decades. His brother continous their work and we did love the special taste of the ice cream a lot. We highly recommend visiting Brixius, you won’t regret it.

Frank was someone who loved nightlife like no other until he got kicket out of dance club Carré in Willebroek. From there he decided to open his own dance temple called Zillion.

Brixius Ice Cream - Coupe Zevende Hemel

© Brixius – Coupe Zevende Hemel

Brixius Ice Cream - Coupe Amarena Krieken

© Brixius – Coupe Amarena

Brixius For My Birthday 2021

© Celebrating Alan’s birthday at Brixius

12

Keeping History Alive

All we try to do is keeping bits and pieces of history alive through photos.

It takes a lot of research about all the places that we explore and not every detail might be correct or as accurate as in real life. Often history is forgotten or lost or deleted for all sorts of reason, that’s why we cannot guarantee that everything we right is correct. We apologize if something is incorrect, so please correct us if this is the case!

Please, leave a comment or email us at info@twin-rhino.be with the correct information and we will update this blog accordingly.

Twin Rhino | Alan Cuypers

Zillion seen from main stage - 2015

© Alan & Hannes

Have you ever been to Zillion?

Share in the comments section below!

What are your experiences with club Zillion?

What are your thoughts about life inside the Zillion? What did you like and what didn’t you like about it?

From what country where you from?

Which other club do you like most? In which country is it located and what is the music style?

Share your story in the comments below! 😎

Share your thoughts!

Capturing old things on camera is one thing, presenting all our footage on this blog is another.

Alan & Lourdes

Travel & Preserving History Bloggers, Twin Rhino

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