The Astor Theatre
It’s an understatement to say The Astor Theatre has been around for a while. The building (formerly known The Diamond Theatre) was showing flicks from 1913 (when moving pictures were probably kind of terrifying). It was renamed and revamped into Astor Theatre in 1936.
This place is still Melbourne's go to for double-header B-Movies, Friday night themed blockbusters, epic 24-hour marathon sessions and Rocky Horror sing-a-longs.
Back in 2015, The Astor was actually preparing to shut its doors for good...until the legends at Palace Cinemas came to the rescue. Some people worried that a change of ownership meant a full-scale Astor redevelopment—the addition of more screens or more 'multiplexy' extensions—but so far, so good.
For regulars, apart from a little bit of a face-lift and a new 4K projector, it's still the Astor we know and love.
So what's The Astor's deal? It's an art-deco, single-screen cinema that specialises in film classics and new releases. They also regularly hold themed nights or monthly shows, based on iconic auteurs, movie series or actors. A few past highlights have been the 12-hour Nicolas Cage marathon (…) and the always well-received Harry Potter series. That's every single Potter back-to-back, FYI.
There's something for everyone here, from cinema critics to all those more, uh, ‘basic’ in their tastes. Get your diary out and have a look at the upcoming calendar over here.
A date night or get-together at The Astor is always a refreshing change from going to your stock-standard cinema inside Chaddy or Northland.
Walking in, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into history. There’s chandeliers swinging from the ceiling, a plush waiting area with houseplants and leather couches, tiered seating, a red and gold colour palette and old-school curtained screen.
Treat yourself to an after-movie cocktail and a bite to eat at The Overlook nextdoor—yep, it's named after The Shining. What else would you expect?
If you want to watch your movie alongside a furry friend, make sure you also keep your eyes peeled for Duke, the residential Astor cat. He's usually sleeping on one of the couches upstairs.
Image credit: Eat Drink Play