The Astor Theatre is a cinema in the grand, old manner. The last single screen cinema of its kind in continuous operation in Melbourne, still standing since its grand opening in 1936, and one of only a few single screen movie theatres from the 1930s in the world screening repertory movie programming.
The Astor Theatre is a classic, single-screen cinema with stalls and a dress circle – the overall seating capacity of 1,150 is reduced from the original 1,700 – and the magnificent auditorium has the same, soft ambience that you will have enjoyed in the foyers. Beautiful golden curtains cover the screen, which part majestically to begin the evening’s (or matinee’s) entertainment.
There is nothing “old-fashioned” about The Astor’s facilities however. The fully-air-conditioned cinema boasts a state-of-the-art sound system and a giant screen.
Long famous for its presentation of classics, cult favourites and select new releases, The Astor projects a range of mediums including 35mm prints and the now rare 70mm format (over three times the size of 35mm, with glorious detail and clarity). The Astor is also home to the Barco 4K Digital Projector, the highest quality projector of its kind in Australia. When you see a film in 4K (up to four times the industry standard resolution!) or 2K format at The Astor, you are seeing a presentation that is unmatched.
* WHAT IS DCP?*
DCP stands for Digital Cinema Package – the worldwide industry standard file delivery format for cinema digital projection. Universally this is 2K (resolution measure). The files are ‘ingested’ into one of two large servers in the Astor projection room. There is a storage server and a playback server, of about 13 TB (terrabyte) in capacity. The average 2K DCP is about 200GB in file size. 4K is four times the resolution of the industry standard 2K.
The Astor Theatre is home to an extraordinary roster of re-released classics in their original 35mm print format, lush Technicolor restorations (including The Wizard of Oz, Singin’ in the Rain and Rear Window), exquisite 70mm epics (Ben Hur and Vertigo), through to new digital remasters in 2K and 4K format (titles as varied as Dr Strangelove, Taxi Driver and Ghostbusters). Many of these films sit in Chapel Distribution’s archive, a treasure trove of rare prints that we are committed to preserving for future generations.