SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION NOW TO PROTECT THE ASTOR
Over the 30 years that The Astor has been running in its current format we have developed a very large and loyal audience base that appreciates and recognises the significance of The Astor. It is one of the few single–screen, large–scale movie palaces left in the world that hasn’t been split up into multiple auditoriums and that has been running movies continuously since being built in 1936.
Not only that, the site that The Astor stands on was previously occupied by an earlier movie theatre called the Diamond (later the Rex) that started showing movies around 1908 (the very beginnings of the movie industry itself) — one of the first suburban “hard–top” cinemas in Melbourne’s St Kilda — the hub of this city’s entertainment from its formation.
Furthermore, we are committed to film. While there is a rush towards switching to a fully digitized projection system in cinemas, and although we do screen the very best in digital alongside film, we believe that the Astor must remain a working film cinema museum and be capable of presenting real film projection. With our own library of more than 600 film prints (35mm, 16mm and 70mm) we are well positioned to ensure that the Astor can continue to present the cinema experience it was built for — to recognise the importance of such edifices as the prime source of public entertainment, and a social focal point, before the days of TV and the myriad other forms of entertainment. These are some of the reasons The Astor was classified by the National Trust and Heritage Victoria.
With thousands of e–mails, letters and good wishes received over many years, we feel it is time to formalise an incorporated body – and hopefully one day soon a not for profit trust with charitable status – of like–minded individuals committed to the ideals pointed out above and to help guide The Astor into the future. After its first year of formation, The Friends of the Astor Association has already started forming a strategy to help keep the Astor open and fully operational as a film house well into the future and beyond our current lease end of early 2015. Members receive invitations to special preview screenings and are encouraged to join one of our subcommittees to help realise many of our aims in support of The Astor. We are looking for support from those with legal, marketing/advertising, finance, sponsorship, or lobbying skills and those who are as passionate about the long–term preservation and operation of The Astor as we are.
There is no certainty that the Astor will continue to operate as it does now past 2015 but it can - if we can gather enough support – so now is the time to start formatting what happens in the future — we want to give our fans a say too.
To send us an email, click here. If you have skills that can assist in a committee process please include a few words about that, and feel free to comment about any aspect of this idea.
Head over to www.fota.net.au to read more and to keep up to date with the Media Releases pertaining to this campaign.