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: Thursday 1 January 10am - 5pm
What's Open: All parts of the building
Tour Type: S23
Access: Limited mobility
Building Type: Commercial
Facilities: Toilets, Food and beverage available
Special Programming: Live theatre organ performances and vintage screenings.
Year Built: 1936
Transport: Tram stop: Chapel St/Dandenong Rd route 5 and 64
Photo Credit: Charlie Kinross
1 Chapel Street, St Kilda 3182, VIC