You might be able to catch one of her films here
The announcement Palace Cinemas chain had reached a deal to take over Melbourne’s famous Astor Theatre was good news for local film buffs. But given the Astor’s fraught and uncertain history, some scepticism remained. These concerns have been allayed by the announcement of the Astor’s new general manager, Zak Hepburn. Hepburn has ten years of cinema experience and, perhaps most importantly from the point of view of the Astor’s loyal fan base, a long association with the cinema. “I grew up in Bacchus Marsh, where there was no cinema,” recalls Hepburn. “My mum first took me to the Astor to see The Beatles: Yellow Submarine. I was constantly asking my mother to drive me to the Astor, which was well over an hour and a half away and I’ve been a regular patron ever since.” Hepburn re-affirms that Palace Cinemas is committed to maintaining the key aspects of the ‘Astor Experience’: a single-screen theatre with a program of new and classic films in 35mm, 70mm and digital formats. “The focus is very much on establishing a cultural hub for movie fans, with double features and remastered classics, new and independent movies, film festivals and special events.” After minor refurbishment, the Astor re-opens for business on Sunday, June 7. Hepburn is finalising the new program, but it will include Kenneth Branagh’s four-hour plus Hamlet, an Astor favourite, and a digitally restored cut of the original The Terminator. There’ll be a 50th anniversary screening of spy thriller The
Every Melburnian has had the Astor Theatre programme calendar at some point, and it turns out we're not the only ones who are fans of the old-school cinema, because the Supernormal Canteen team have teamed up with the Astor to create a one-off, next level movie snack for a double feature screening of Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled and Lost in Translation on Saturday September 30. Moviegoers going to the back-to-back screening will get a complimentary choctop based on Supernormal's most popular dessert – the peanut butter parfait. The dessert will get the cinema treatment: the creamy peanut butter parfait will be scooped into a waffle cone, covered in salted caramel and chocolate, and sprinkled with roasted peanuts. Supernormal Canteen head chef Tim Goegan says, “We’re huge fans of Coppola and are dead excited to work with the Astor which is such an institution in St Kilda. As soon as we saw Lost in Translation on the programme, synapses started firing!” Tickets to the double feature on September 30 are just $17 each and are available from the Astor's box office or online. Go on, this is your only chance to try the Supernormal classic in choctop form. Where (and how) to get cheap cinema tickets in Melbourne.
After midnight at the Astor during Melbourne International Film Festival is the Witching Hour, when the respectable veneer of cinema cracks open and unspeakable things fly out. Last year they held a marathon of some of the strangest science fiction movies we've ever seen. This year, in a stroke of mad genius, they will be showing back-to-back Nicolas Cage movies. Let that sink in for a moment. Twelve hours of non-stop Nic. He's been called the "most memeable" actor in history thanks to his maniacal turns in the likes of The Wicker Man ("Not the bees!") and Vampire's Kiss (yes, he really ate that cockroach). And we're willing to bet that those two masterpieces will be on the bill when the full program of MIFF 2018 is announced on Tuesday July 10. While you are watching the Cage-a-Thon, be sure to remind yourself from time to time that this man has won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Here are some sneak peek highlights of MIFF 2018.
If you're a film buff, student, skint broke or a cheap date, then we've some good news for you: Palace Cinemas are selling $5 tickets to all their films for a whole week. Starting this Thursday, August 9, Palace Cinemas are selling every ticket to every film for a measly $5. Just let that information sink in for a bit – you can get a $5 ticket to ANY film at ANY one of Melbourne's six Palace Cinema venues (excluding the Kino) for a whole week. There's never been a better reason to switch off those reruns of The Office, put down the remote and actually see some new releases. The cheap week is to celebrate the launch of Palace Cinemas' new rewards club, which gives members access to daily discounts, birthday specials and free tickets on joining. Catch a hot new blockbuster like The Incredibles 2 or see something a little bit more arthouse. The $5 tickets are available from August 9 to 15 at Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Dendy Brighton, Palace Westgarth and the Astor Theatre. For more film-fun check out our top pick for MIFF 2018. Or keep the cheap times rolling with a FREE chicken burger from Sonny's.
WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE. Scrap The Oscars, The Emmys, The Tonys – the only awards that matter is The Dukes, The Astor Theatre's award show for cat videos. Named after the cinema's boss cat, who can often be often weaving his way through the lines for the candy bar or sitting on his kitty litter near the theatre entrance, the Dukes award will be an annual event and the first event will take place on Sunday October 2 at 4pm. On the day of The Dukes, feline film fans will be given score cards to vote for their favourite cat videos screened at the award event. The Astor team has put together an hour's worth of cat videos, from the obscure to the classic, featuring cats from the streets of St Kilda to the hills of LA. The results will be tallied and the audience's favourite video will be presented with the very first Dukes award. May the best moggie movie mogul* win. We have our money on this keyboard cat reincarnation. *Ed's note: I'd very much like to make my cat Tiger (pictured below) a star, but his greatest accomplishment to date is to sit in the recycling box. We've got a bit of work to do. Want to learn more The Astor's resident cat Duke? Check out our interview with this feline film buff.