Palace Cinemas are thrilled to announce that they have reached an agreement to secure the future operation of the Astor Theatre, as Melburnians know and love it. The Astor will be open this Easter weekend as per the current calendar and will then close for a short period for essential maintenance and repairs. The theatre will re-open in June 2015 with a gala event and an exciting new calendar – all of which will be announced next week.
Under Palace’s custodianship the Astor will continue operating as a single-screen, 1,150 seat auditoria, with its well-regarded programming of both new release and classic films intact and showing on 35 and 70 millimetre prints as well as 2K and 4K digital projection.
Benjamin Zeccola, Palace Cinema’s CEO says of the plans, “Palace Cinemas are keenly aware of the importance in preserving The Astor experience and, to that end, we see the business operating very much as it does today: one cinema, the continuation of the brilliant programming and maintaining the building in the art deco style in direct consultation with Heritage Victoria.”
George Florence, proprietor since 1982, and creator of the unique programming and operational style, says he is delighted his legacy will continue and states,
“I am very grateful that we have found a solution to keeping The Astor Theatre operating indefinitely, after a long period of great uncertainty, and that Palace Cinemas are pledging to maintain The Astor Experience, that so many loyal patrons hold so dearly. We are sure there will be a great sigh of relief to this positive news and we look forward to a greater Astor Theatre”
Melbourne has seen thirty-two years of the finest repertory programming and the very best in film and now digital presentation thanks to founder George Florence. The Astor is so much more than just the bricks and mortar that has become Melbourne’s spiritual home for film.