The Astor Theatre

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By A.J.

G’day readers, this is A.J with an article on the Astor Theatre. Many St Kilda residents will have memories of The Astor, as well as many from all over inner Melbourne, the country, interstate and overseas.

The Astor is a cinema in the grand old manner; it screens fine films and is now the last single screen cinema operating in Melbourne. The Astor is 75 years old and when you walk in you are instantly taken back to the 1930’s. It still retains its Art-Deco charm, soft lighting, gentle music, relaxing chairs, and not forgetting its famous cake (yummy).

It still has the classic stalls and dress circle, seating 1,150 patrons, and also has lovely golden curtains covering the screen. There is nothing “old fashioned” about The Astor’s facilities though as it is fully air conditioned and fitted with a state of the art sound system and giant screen.

The Astor has double features on most evenings and matinees on Sundays as well as special sessions, film collections and festivals. The Astor also screens some old classics from their archive.

The Astor also has a famous resident living within’ its walls named: Marzipan, a gorgeous tortoiseshell cat who may greet you on the stairs and also likes to watch the movies. When you’re sitting down Marzipan may jump up on your lap to watch, so if she does it’s your shout for a choc-ice as I hear she adores them. There were also other cats that lived at the Astor, I have been told, named Columbia and Magenta – these two were twins.

The Astor has operated since 1936 and is an independently run cinema which I here has an uncertain future. You can support the preservation of The Astor by becoming a friend of The Astor, so ask how to become a friend when you visit next or simply join online.

So readers, check out The Astor, St Kilda’s grand cinema, and also say hello to Marzipan.


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