A Night At the Astor Theatre

Yes sir, there’s nothing quite like a night out at the theatre (or in this case you might also call it a cinema, but the Astor is officially called the ‘Astor Theatre’) and recently, for the sake of filming a vlog primarily, I went out to a place I used to go back in the 90s now and then, the stunning Art Deco Astor Theatre on Chapel Street, St Kilda.

So anyways, it was well time that I returned, and it’s such a great venue I was pretty excited. When did I decide to go? Well, I chose the 31st of October of course, that’s Halloween! The Astor generally is the sort of cinema that does not do a lot of new release films, rather classics (I saw a number of films from earlier than 1970 back in the day) and films that are recent but not new releases. Anything is possible really from the early days of film or something released earlier this year.

In the case of Halloween 20222, we had the tenth anniversary showing of Joss Whedon’s ‘The Cabin in the Woods’. Despite being a big ‘Buffy’ fan, I was unaware of this film. It had a pretty good cast including Amy Acker who was in ‘Angel’, and Bradley Whittaker from ‘The West Wing’, not to forget a young Chris Hemsworth too.

It was a bit of a parody of a horror film, following the tropes you expect to see in a similar film. It wasn’t an out and out comedy by any means either. Actually, I thought it was pretty decent. There was a second film on in the evening. It’s not a multiplex so only one film at a time, and often they will have double features on too, although in this case it was just two separate films that you needed different tickets for. The space is also sometimes rented out for events as well.

The building dates back to 1936 and is the last single screen cinema/theatre remaining in Melbourne. It has a large balcony area for seating which is what fills up before they open below if that is needed (unlikely, not required on this occasion). It’s listed as a heritage site and has had a number of owners over the last few decades and presently is run by the Palace cinema chain here which is a smaller, independent chain of cinemas. The interior is wonderfully persevered and restored to an art deco splendour which had me going ‘squee!’

The chairs are soft, but prolonged sitting can annoy the back muscles. Tickets are $16AUD on Mondays and Tuesday, $19.50 on others – regardless of whether it’s a double bill. That’s adult prices, which is cheaper than going to Village or Hoyts, the main two cinema chains in Australia.

This Friday they are screening ‘Flash Gordon’ for it’s 40th anniversary. And I think they are linking with Sam J. Jones from the film as part of it. If you are in Melbourne and want to go see a film where the experience is as much the point as the film you see well, the Astor is awesome for that!

Thanks for reading today! Wherever you are in the world, take care, and May the Journey Never End!


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