Do you want to go back to a time when seeing a film at the cinema was a grand affair? Where a theatre had 2 levels, an elaborate curtain and chairs that don’t have cup holders?
Well, you can have it right here in Melbourne.
Located on trendy Chapel Street, in Windsor; the Astor Theatre established in 1936, is steeped in history even today, which makes watching a film here that much more enjoyable.
The Astor is one of my favourite places in Melbourne. So, not sharing it with you would be a dis-service to my being a Melbourne based travel writer.
The Astor houses one of the world’s last single screen cinemas, projecting 35mm prints and the now rare 70mm format in all its glory. The Astor also uses the Barco 4K Digital Projector, which is the highest quality projector of its kind in the country – so you’re experience here is better than anything of its kind.
Presenting old classics, as well as new releases – an afternoon or night at the Astor is an enjoyable experience for young and old.
Whether it is the golden curtain, the old style chairs that seat 1150 people (that are indeed comfortable!), the way the boards creak under your feet when you stand on them; or maybe it is just the ambiance of sitting in a theatre that just smells old…one can never get tired of spending a few hours watching a film here.
Even the lobby entrance and second story foyer take you back to another time.
It is just so grand, that rocking up in jeans and a t-shirt makes you feel under dressed.
The Astor Experience: 80s & 90s Classics
I have watched many films here over the years, which has been a dream because it meant I finally got to see my all time favourite films on the big screen. (Mainly because I wasn’t alive or was too young to enjoy them when they were initially released.) That in itself is a novelty.
On one on my most memorable visits, I was able to watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and was lucky enough to meet Alan Ruck, who played Cameron Frye before the screening. Ruck even stayed and watched the film on the upper level where we were and then took part in a question and answer after the film.
I have also seen many double features over the years as well which have been a lot of fun; and most recently, on this past Valentine’s Day, I had the pleasure of watching Sleepless In Seattle with my friend Jess who loves this film as much as I do.
Over the past decade, awesome double features have kept this place an icon of Melbourne – even when there was worry it would close and be gone forever not that long ago. Personal favourites for myself and many I know include:
- Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters 2
- Home Alone & Mrs Doubtfire
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
- Back To The Future 1, 2 and 3
- Top Gun & Days Of Thunder
- Breakfast At Tiffany’s & Roman Holiday
- Sixteen Candles & The Breakfast Club
The Astor is unlike any cinema experience you can have today. When we live in a world where technology is moving forward; it is so nice to be able to re-live a past time that existed almost a century ago and know what that felt like.
If you’re visiting Melbourne, be sure to head to Chapel Street and catch a film at the Astor.
You won’t regret it.
You can view their schedule and book tickets here or just turn up on the day.