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The Astor Theatre

Home > Melbourne > Architecture | Cinema | Vintage and Retro
by Chris Shepherdson (subscribe)
I'm a copywriter and freelance writer living in Melbourne. My novel, Another New York Murder, is available online.
Published July 10th 2013
What better place to see the greatest movies ever made
Having spent four of the last ten years away from Melbourne I would always miss four things: friends, family, the footy and the Astor. Sitting majestically on the corner of Chapel St and Dandenong Rd, its art deco lighting announcing itself to all around, one can be forgiven for thinking we are back in the golden days of the picture house, before the days of DVD, blue ray or even VHS, the days when the cinema was king, when going to the pictures was an event. An event any trip to a multiplex can only dream of replicating.

astor theatre

For the Astor veteran, the greatest moments in the history of film have been experienced within the well-worn walls of the Astor's 1100 seat cinema. Traversing the sweetly creaking floor to a seat with the patina of thousands of bums, we have seen great images from Stanley Kubrick, Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock perfectly framed with a Christmas tree at each side. We have heard Janet Leigh's scream, Woody Allen's wit and Ennio Morriconne's scores through the distinctive sound system. We have experienced all this and more while trying to keep our boysenberry choc top or fresh and warm tea cake from disintegrating onto our lap.

For the aficionados of magnificent art deco architecture there is also plenty to see. The classical foyer and upstairs lounge make it a beautiful place to do just about anything, let alone watching the history of cinema, but for the true Astorite, it's the perfect setting to sink into a well-worn club chair and peruse the calendar.

Astor theatre, astor calendar
The Iconic Astor calendar


There are plenty of iconic things in Melbourne but the Astor calendar must rank highly among them. Taking its place proudly on thousands of fridges across the city, no trip to the Astor is complete without scanning the complimentary calendar during the intermission. Then, from all corners of the theatre can be heard varying cries of "Love to see that again", "Never seen it, no really.", to "Probably should see that at some stage." There is also an app that links to the calendar on your device.

So if you're sick of Slow and Stupid 12 or whatever else is on offer at the multiplex, head along to the Astor and see The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Manhattan, The Godfather, 2001, Thunderball, Le Samurai, The Great Escape, or any number of the thousands of classics that live on in silver screen heaven, and at The Astor.

The Astor can be found at the corner of Chapel st and Dandenong rd and at www.astortheatre.net.au.
They are also on Facebook and Twitter and the app is available in the Apple appstore.

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When: Most Days
Phone: 039510 1414
Where: 1 Chapel Street, St Kilda
Cost: $15 for double features
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