My boyfriend is great. He likes similar things to me, we are, as he puts it ‘on a level’… one of our favourite things to do together is eat and watch things on a screen, I know, it’s all pretty glamorous.
Here’s the thing though…
There is time and place for everything. This week, for instance, we are both sick. Ice-cream and a movie in bed, thats all either one of us care for, and can commit too for that matter.
Last month was different.
Last month we hadn’t been out on a date for ages, last month I hadn’t seen ANY of the movies i’d been itching to go and see, last month I wore earrings and straightened my hair…
Last month he took me to Frankston…
The food was just as over priced but half as delicious, the wine menu was half the size and and so were the glasses. The fashion on the street was, ‘derelique chic’, the film we intended on seeing was sold out, and me? I was less than impressed.
I was ready to strut out of our tacky unnamed restaurant, uncooked calamari with ‘salad’ still on plate, I would have were it not for the fear of the gato-bong-smoking franga hanger lurking outside…
The film was actually quite good, in the end.
this week, instead of reviewing a film, I am reviewing the places where we go to see them, and remembering some of the more successful dates i’ve had at the cinemas.
45 Collins street, Melbourne
Admittedly I have only been to this cinema twice,
also admittedly, I was late both times…
to make matters worse both visits were premiere screening with Q&A’s at the end.
The Kino cinemas are beautiful, Awesomely located for some and licensed enough for others. One day I dream of living in close proximity to such a venue, until then, I’ll just work on getting there on time, on the rare occasions I am there.
675 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122
So the bar here is pretty lovely, it’s also not cheap. Having said that with Swinburne just around the corner the area itself is full of bustling places to grab a bite to eat before your cinefix on the cheap. Also with Swinburne right around the corner teachers and students can get discounts, which is great, aside from the fact that I don’t actually go to Swinburne… The seats are comfy and you can bring your drink in, they have fun comedy and trivia nights and rooftop cinema too!
380 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Okay so this one is on the other side of town for me, BUT, one of my best friends used to live in the area so I am not stranger to this cinema, it’s quaint, it’s comfy, it has a bar and there is always somewhere nice to eat beforehand. I commend them on the films they screen and the events they host; a memorable trip was seeing ‘mistaken for strangers’ a documentary made by the brother of the lead singer of ‘ The national’, it followed them on tour and compared the two brothers, heartfelt and insightful, these are the golden moments you have to cherish. I’m still gutted I missed out on the q&a with Nick cave…
1239 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham VIC 3192 ( and many more)
I grew up going to Southland, you’ll notice ‘the golden statues’, a local hotspot for meet ups, is no longer there, sadly, but this photo represents my youth, pre re-furb.. I loathe the fact that Village is still my closest cinema as they have a bias toward blockbusters, and I usually get stuck sitting next to a pre-pubescent couple learning how to smack lips or the group of teens more interested in throwing popcorn into viewers hair than actually watching a film. Having said that, it’s there, so thanks, I guess.
Central Lawn, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Birdwood Ave, Melbourne VIC 3141
When the weather is right this location really can’t be beat. In the midst of the warmer weather there is nothing quite like sitting on the grass (or a $9 Bean bag) and watching the bats fly overhead pre-film. The film selection is not, in my opinion, stellar, but there is arguably something there for everyone, I skipped off for a little bit of ‘Breakfast club’ action this year, and I must admit the scenery and company actually enhanced the viewing for me, which isn’t hard because I don’t rate the film in the first place. The food is far too expensive but you can bring your own picnic, including wine! Bring insect repellent and a warm blanket in case it does cool down, you may have to lug all of this from your car parked not quite close enough, but the experience is definitely worth it!
Parkville VIC 3052
The Shadow electric is definitely a contender for my favourite place to park whilst viewing a decent film. Unfortunately it is not easy to get to for me personally, but if it was I would be there every week.
Set in the middle of the Abbortsford convent the atmosphere is stellar, refer to the photos above. Keep in mind there is a bar and due to it’s location and somewhat ‘yuppy’ culture, there is an abundance of people watching to be had pre show.
115 S Gippsland Hwy, Dandenong VIC 3175
It’s cheap, tacky and usually a lot less comfortable than you dream of, but it’s fun with a little sprinkle of yesteryear.
Me and my friends have a terrible habit of underestimating how much space we all need, which usually ends with our friend James, who can’t stand scary movies, sitting on a deck chair, out of the car, by himself, jumping every time my arm reaches through the window to grab he’s attention, to ascertain if he’d more popcorn.
The films on offer are limited but generally good for a fun time and not so much an intellectual one. All you need is a car with decent speakers, and some deck chairs and blankets if there are more than two of you….trust me.
1 Chapel St & Dandenong Rd, Melbourne VIC 3182
I’ve saved my favourite till last…
Growing up some kids had times tables on the back of the toilet door, others had pin up girls or stupid sayings regarding home and where the heart is… I had the Astor theatre calendar.
When I found out the Astor was closing back in 2015 I was devastated. I’d been to see ‘The Rocky horror picture show’ there on new years eve with a live cast, I’d sung along with sandy in ‘Grease’, and spent way too many hours there soaking up a classic double feature, now I was going to see’ 2001, a space Odyssey’ and eat my choc top at the Astor, for the last time. Luckily for me, it wouldn’t be the last time at all.
The Astor is a gem, it takes you back in time and presents film in a way that really isn’t done enough any more. What I wouldn’t do for a bathroom at home that looked like the Astors. The chairs are fairly uncomfortable but the wine is cheap enough and the home made cakes are always delicious. I hope this building thrives for years and years to come.
So there you have it, hopefully you like some of these viewing platforms as much as I do, and hopefully you’ve gained some insight or respect as to what’s out there, it’s not all eyes to the front in a pitch black room. I haven’t mentioned IMAX, or the 4D I went to in Tokyo, there are many places I haven’t mentioned and I apologise for that. Having said that most of these are worth getting to, so if you haven’t already done so, choose one closest to you and make a day of it.