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The Astor Theatre

Architect: Ron Morton Taylor

South | S23

Presenting Fine Films and Atmosphere since 1936, The Astor Theatre is a cinema in the grand old manner. It is the last single-screen cinema of its kind in Melbourne and one of the few single-screen movie theatres from the 1930s still screening repertory film programming. The site at 1–3 Chapel Street was first used for public entertainment in 1913 when Thomas Alford established the Diamond Theatre, which shared the site with a confectioner and livery stables. Part vaudeville theatre and part cinema, in 1914 it was renamed The Rex before closing in 1917. By 1924 the site had been occupied by a motor garage. In 1935 it sold to Frank O'Collins, who – with council approval – began demolition of the site's original buildings. O'Collins commissioned architect Ron Morton Taylor and construction firm Clements Langford to complete work on a new site. Construction progressed rapidly and the new Astor Theatre was officially opened on 3 April 1936. The Astor Theatre still remains to this day. While the overall seating capacity of 1,150 is reduced from the original 1,700, the magnificent auditorium has the same soft ambience that generations have enjoyed.

Need to Know

  • Open: Sun 10am - 5pm

  • What's Open: All parts of the building

  • Special Programming: Live theatre organ performances and vintage screenings.

  • Building Type: Commercial

  • Facilities: Toilets, Food and beverage available

  • Access: Limited mobility

  • Year Built: 1936

  • Transport: Tram stop: Chapel St/Dandenong Rd route 5 and 64

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kinross

  • Tour Type: Self-guided

Location

1 Chapel Street, St Kilda 3182, VIC

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