Some late changes to our programming…

Putting together a quarterly calendar does mean that late changes to our programming sometimes occur. This calendar we find ourselves with two such changes. Deciding that it would be best to explain them to you, here we are, filling our very own cyber space with explanatory words.

Sunday December 8th 1.15pm

The first change is the cancellation of Sunday’s matinee session. Finding a space for special private hire events can be difficult when we program so far in advance and the general idea is that once we’ve confirmed our programming, we stick with it. Of course, like every rule, there are always exceptions. Saturday afternoons are usually an option but, short of cancelling our Lord of the Rings marathon (which we just couldn’t do!), we didn’t have too many possibilities in the early December time frame.

The 70mm film print of Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet that we screen once a calendar is important to our programming of course, but, as a session we screen regularly and know we can and will repeat again on our next calendar, it’s a somewhat more likely candidate when it comes to late cancellations. Changes aren’t ideal but when they do need to take place we do our best to limit the fallout! Hamlet will screen on our next quarterly calendar.

Aint-them-bodies-saints1

Saturday January 25th 7.30pm

The second change is a substitution. When Alexander Payne’s latest, Nebraska (which I saw at Cannes and is very good) was slated for a Boxing Day release, January 25th was a suitable date within the repertory/second run window for us to screen it. However, with its Australian release date pushed back to February 20 (presumably so it can ride the theatrical tidal wave known as “Oscar Buzz”), we had to sub in another title. Having MUD scheduled as the ‘B-movie’ (second/support film in the double), we wanted to pick something complementary (bearing in mind that it needed to come from the same distributor as is the stipulation for all our double bills). And so, we have changed the first title to Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. Having just seen the film I can confirm that it’s a great fit tonally and also in terms of quality. Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck give strong, moving performances in this beautiful, tragic love-story for the ages. And don’t worry, we’ll find a space for Nebraska on the next calendar too!

Written by Tara Judah for the Astor Theatre.

Cinema Fiasco Presents: The Amityville Horror

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When Cinema Fiasco hosts Geoff Wallis and Janet A. McLeod first saw The Amityville Horror (1979) it scared the pants off them. It was 1980 and they were unworldly five year olds who found cat throwing and toilets that coughed up black stuff genuinely terrifying.

Now that they’re all grown up and fully versed in the craft of exploitation filmmaking, Janet and Geoff are only too happy to revisit this timeless classic and expose it as the laugh-a-minute romp it truly is.

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The Amityville Horror tells the “true story” of a family that moves into its dream home only to discover the place is already occupied by ghosts and demons and blowflies and a giant invisible pig. All sorts of terrible things happen (like the lights going on by themselves) and Rod Steiger and James Brolin have a full-on bad acting competition which Rod wins thanks to a scene in which he shouts at a church and it blinds him with falling masonry. There’s also a fabulous spewing nun scene.

So if you fancy a good old scream (from laughter more than anything) join Janet and Geoff for another hilarious night of bad movie appreciation at Cinema Fiasco. The movie may scare you. The hosts definitely will.

The Amityville Horror will be presented with LIVE COMMENTARY THROUGHOUT. So there!

© Geoff Wallis 2013

The Amityville Horror screens at the Astor on Friday the 13th (spooky!) at 8pm. 

Boyles and Ghouls welcome, humans allowed.

Important Announcement – re: Margot Kidder Appearance

We are very sorry to inform you that due to circumstances beyond our control, Margot Kidder’s appearance at The Astor tonight has been cancelled.

This is because Margot has unfortunately taken ill with pneumonia and has been admitted to Sydney’s St Vincent’s hospital today at midday.

The Superman movie will still be screened tonight.

If you have purchased an advance ticket through Trybooking you will get a full $25 refund on your Trybooking purchase to the credit card that was used for the transaction.

The refunds will be processed in the next couple of days, but might take a little time to show up in your statement.

Admission to the movie only tonight will be at the discounted rate of $10, tickets available from the Astor box office as normal, open from 6.30pm.

Sincere apologies for any inconvenience

Side By Side

Photochemical film has serviced the film industry for more than 100 years. A medium that traditionally brought “together science, art and impact” – as according to the documentary Side by Side – has been pixelating for longer than most people outside of the industry would even know,  just ask George Lucas. But mirroring the immediacy most filmmakers appear to credit digital cameras with, is the immediacy with which this technology is now overtaking and replacing film in what is overwhelmingly considered within the industry to be an inevitable transition. Side By Side, narrated by Keanu Reeves, is a documentary that asks a select group of filmmakers to talk about the formats, the process, their perceived pros and cons, all in an easily digestible way for people outside of the “movie business” with a view to proffering some insightful inside info.

There’s no denying that Side by Side is a well made and entertaining film. And though it has no responsibility to present to its audience in any way other than as it sees fit, for anyone interested in how the issue fares beyond production, the scope is disappointingly narrow. Although the film alludes to issues pertaining to cinema exhibition and preservation, their mention is a quick nod in consultation with the same people who speak about the processes of production. The second problematic flows on from there as it becomes clear the film is really only interested in the opinions of filmmakers. At no time is there an interview with a projectionist, with either multiplex or independent cinema operators, nor distributors, nor academics, and of course, absolutely no opinion at all from movie-going audiences. However, the film has no responsibility to give its audience diversity in opinion as it carves out its central argument – that’s its prerogative. But even if we let Keanu and Kenneally (director) off the hook, what is most problematic is that even as an exercise in examining filmmakers’ opinions, Side by Side interviews a very select group of mostly Hollywood, and almost all mainstream, blockbuster filmmakers; its most obscure interview surrounding the huge success of Thomas Vinterberg’s Dogme 95 low budget film, Festen (referred to here as The Celebration). Arguably a mainstream film itself in terms of its reach although surely not in its inception, Festen is surprisingly the very first film shot entirely on digital.  But even here Keanu curiously interviews Vinterberg’s Dogme 95 celebrity colleague Lars von Trier, as well as DP Anthony Dod Mantle, instead of Vinterberg himself. Perhaps Vinterberg is considered too obscure for mainstream, western audiences likely to view this film? No consultation with avant-garde or experimental filmmakers, small arthouse filmmakers, or even a fair cross section of famous filmmakers from really anywhere outside of the studio machine is entered into.

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that whilst not offering conclusive remarks through its narration, Side by Side consists mainly of pro-digital enthusiasts along with many who see the pros and cons but move along with industry mandate, a sole purist, Christopher Nolan, sticking out like a thumb tack as the only one who is not willing to trade in his “oil paints for crayons”, and whose DP is the only person in the entire film who seems to care about the difference in visual quality of the blacks. Danny Boyle says, “If you’re unable to deal with it, then your time is over.” But then again, he also think his own film, Slumdog Millionaire (also shot by Anthony Dod Mantle), is the film we will look back to well into the future as the mark of acceptance for digital filmmaking. It might have been a good idea for Keanu to interview at least one or two people whose delusions of grandeur and opinions of self weren’t quite so far removed from the actual future implications of the issue. Nevertheless, Side by Side is at least an accessible and entertaining starter for a conversation that needs to take place.
Written by Tara Judah for the Astor Theatre.

A Note From The President of FOTA

It is not a rumour that The Astor will close. The Astor Theatre is the business which is inside the building which St Michael’s owns. St Michael’s does not have, and never has had, anything to do with the running of The Astor Theatre. When St Michael’s bought the building The Astor had a lease with a five by five year option. Simon Gipson has worded his statements to make it sound like they very graciously extended the lease to 2015. In fact, the reason there is a lease until 2015 is because George Florence, who owns The Astor Theatre, exercised his final five year option in 2010. George Florence and Friends of The Astor had hoped that St Michael’s plan was that the stage would be renovated to accommodate school plays which could be included in The Astor programme for the four weeks of the year that they are on, that the school would use it for assemblies and educational activities during the day, and The Astor could continue on as a cinema in the evening and on weekends.

Mind you, I always wondered about the plan to adapt the stage. The building is built to house a cinema. It has no dressing rooms, no wings, no fly towers. To me, it seems like a stupid expense to adapt that stage when you could probably build a new purpose built performing arts centre for less cost. Sadly, it has become quite apparent over the years that the school has no intention of allowing The Astor Theatre to continue operating in that building. The Preliminary vision which they put together in 2011 makes that quite clear. Simon Gipson has made various statements about film being included as an important part of a new, renovated building, but has made no commitment as to how this will happen. I ask you to consider this – if the school plans to project film for only a few weeks of the year why would they go to the expense of making certain it can happen in the main auditorium? To do so will mean they will have to build a fly tower for the screen and set aside room in the bio box for two film projectors and at least two digital projectors. That would be insanity. Furthermore the architects who have looked at the building have said that the auditorium will have raked seating. The visioning statement also posits this. Raked seating is suitable for a performing arts venue. It is not suitable for a cinema. The reason St Michael’s is able to say that we are spreading rumours and what we say is untrue is simply because they make broad brush statements and claims constantly and never commit themselves to anything. It has been this way with them for years. Our campaign didn’t come from nowhere. We have tried to speak with them, we have had meetings.

A couple o f years ago the board came on a tour of the theatre. I suggested at that tour that the board set up a special sub-committee to liaise with us. They couldn’t have shown less interest. No sub-committee has ever been set up and no-one from the board has ever tried to contact us. The last meeting we had set up last year to talk with Simon Gipson was cancelled by St Michael’s on the morning of the meeting. We believe that the school, quite simply, will not run anything like The Astor as it is now. They may show films in some small purpose built cinema within the whole complex. And they won’t show film, they’ll have to show digital because there is no way they will be able to keep a trained projectionist on staff, let alone pay the cost of keeping a film projector running for a few weeks a year. No-one they employ will have the expertise that George and his staff have. They will be running a multi-purpose arts centre and they will undoubtedly think that running a few classic movies in a small cinema a few weeks of the year will be adequate. I don’t know why people think running something like the Astor is just a matter of getting all the movies you like together and inviting a few mates to pay to watch them. It is a highly skilled business, and it is one that the managers of a multi-purpose performing arts centre will have no idea about at all. It’s like someone trying to tell you that they could run your business perfectly well as part of an agency that included booking services for modelling, acting, performing animals and escorts.

We could, of course, take Simon’s word that everything will be hunky dory, despite the fact that on the other hand he keeps saying the school actually has no plans at all at the moment. It would certainly make for an easier life to do that. But if we do, and the doors to The Astor close in 2015, one thing is for certain – we will never, ever get it back again. If The Astor closes Melbourne will lose its last picture palace, one of the last ones operating in the world, and that will be it. That’s not a risk I’m willing to take. It’s not a risk that anyone who loves The Astor is willing to take.

A response written by Vanda Hamilton for the Friends of the Astor Association.

Show your support by signing the online petition at: change.org/astor

The Astor Theatre 2021: A Vision, Or, Melbourne’s Worst Nightmare?

For everyone who has ever walked through the front doors here at The Astor Theatre, and in doing so, felt something special, the building of anticipation as you ascend up the stairs, and if you have ever had the pleasure of experiencing a film inside the Astor’s auditorium then you will know what there is here to love and to defend. PROTECT THE ASTOR NOW.

You might have seen our online petition at change.org, please sign and circulate, and read the releases below as the events unfold…

16.05.12 St Michael’s Grammar School’s response FOTA’s online petition request: Media_Release_16May12_-_Astor_Building

17.05.12 FOTA’s media release: Media release_Protect The Astor_17May2012_corrected launch date

 

From St Michael’s Grammar School – “A Preliminary Vision”: Preliminary vision

New Astor Calendar

Whenever we put together an Astor calendar we receive an influx of comments, feedback and suggestions so we thought this would be a great opportunity to tell you in a little more depth about how and why we program the way we do.

Since 1982 George Florence (Proprietor) has conceived of and developed the unique style of repertory programming the Astor is known for. And whilst in an idyllic world the process would be as free and wonderful as choosing two quality films that compliment one another – be it by theme, director, stars, genre, tone, etc – there are a multitude of factors that restrict the options available to us, which is why we find you sometimes asking why we put Labyrinth with Killer Klowns from Outer Space and why John Carter is a single session rather than a double feature.

The primary concern for double features is that both films must come from the same distributor – this is due to Box Office Returns; a percentage of all ticket sales go back to the distributor.

The next concern is available theatrical rights. Just because a film exists, and indeed, even if it has a Home Entertainment release, doesn’t necessarily mean that there are valid theatrical screening rights. All films shown here must have valid theatrical screening rights and even though in some cases we might have shown a film in the past, doesn’t necessarily mean that the film will always be available to screen. Bladerunner is one example where, following our season a couple of years ago now, the theatrical rights have since expired. Conversely, Dirty Dancing and The Princess Bride are films where the rights had lapsed but have recently been renewed, and so we are once again able to screen them.

Then there is the issue of available film formats. Prior to June last year we were only able to screen films with available 35mm or 70mm film prints. And even though we are and will always be committed to both screening and protecting film prints, it is certainly true that since installing our 4K digital projection plant, opportunities to screen many previously unavailable cult and classic titles have now been made available to us. Certainly we could not have held our most recent re-release seasons of Taxi Driver, Dr Strangelove and Labyrinth if it weren’t for new digital restored and remastered DCPs being made.

 

The same is true of our upcoming major season exclusive Australian 2K digital re-release of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Whilst there were once perfectly good quality film prints available of all three Indiana Jones films – Temple of Doom in 70mm in fact – they were junked many years ago and as such, were until now, absent from the big screen. We very much hope we will see Raiders followed up later in 2012 and into 2013 with re-releases of The Temple of Doom & The Last Crusade. Hopefully one day we will be able to present them to you as a trilogy, as we have done recently with The Lord of the Rings and Back to the Future.

There are also certain restrictions for us as a repertory cinema with regard to release dates and the time periods after which we are allowed to screen the films. Usually new release titles will screen here 5-8 weeks after their initial release, with the earliest we are able to screen a new title being 4 weeks with some distributors.

There are also often restrictions placed upon which new titles can be paired with which other new titles and much of this is at the distributors’ discretion.

So, despite our efforts to avoid odd pairings and really weird double bills, we do sometimes end up with things like Safe and Cafe de Flore on the calendar. An example of a double feature that was originally intended to be Silent Souls and Cafe de Flore, but unfortunately the release date for Silent Souls was pushed back which meant we couldn’t include it on this calendar. Still wanting to screen Cafe de Flore, we looked at the next most seemingly interesting to an Astor audience title available. In other instances, with films like A Separation, we decide that it might just be better to let the film screen as a single session rather than a really weird double. Please also bear in mind that as we program for three-month blocks in advance, it isn’t always possible for us to have personally seen the films prior to putting them on the program. If it were, we might not have shown The Darkest Hour or Albert Nobbs on our last calendar.

But beyond what we think are quality films and what films we might like to support there is unfortunately commercial viability to take into account. Sure, I’d love to see a season of experimental films including Kenneth Anger and Stan Brakhage on our SuperScreen but the reality is that almost no one would turn up to see them – as our John Waters mini retrospective rather clearly indicated.

As we are presently still a commercial entity and without any funding currently available to us, we do have to give some consideration to making enough money to keep the doors open. And whilst our aims and intentions are to provide a unique cinema-going experience rather than to “make money” we do have to consider whether or not a film is likely to have an audience or 30 or 300 people attend. There is of course always a balance and sometimes we will persist with a certain title because of its merit and indeed we have again programmed The Art of Flight despite it not necessarily being a film that attracts several hundred viewers and certainly the session on our last calendar was decent but not staggering. The reason we are screening it again however is because it is one of the best quality digital presentations we have ever screened. The 2K is incredibly sharp and the cinematography quite impressive – something we strongly believe deserves to be seen on the big screen.

There are also some films that we screen regularly due to the film prints being very rare, these include; Hamlet in 70mm, Baraka in 70mm, Apocalypse Now Redux in 35mm and Grindhouse in 35mm. I’m sure many of you already know the story of Hamlet, but if not – it is a great example of why the Astor is important not only as a cinema but also in the continued preservation and exhibition of rare film prints. Following a strong release season in 1996 Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet has screened on every single Astor Calendar since. Earmarked for junking (the destroying of a film print), George contacted Kenneth Branagh and notified him that the rare 70mm print was about to be destroyed, but that we were very interested in continuing to screen it. Kenneth Branagh then directed the distributor to hand over the film print to us so that it can continue to be seen as intended. Similarly, with the hope that the distributors will not junk films we repeatedly book, we make sure rare film prints continue to screen at the Astor so that they won’t be lost to film history and so that future generations can continue to discover them on the big screen.

We are also very lucky here at the Astor to have someone so passionate as George about the protection, preservation and exhibition of classic films, film prints and now too high quality digital re-releases. In partnership with Mark Spratt, George co-founded and is co-director of Chapel Distribution – an independent repertory distributor for Australia and New Zealand with a library of many titles you see regularly appearing at the Astor. Films such as Flying Down to Rio, screening as part of a special event in June with the Cairo Club Orchestra live, and the upcoming 4K digital re-release of The Sound of Music, are titles that we are very pleased to see return to the big screen this year.

We are also very lucky to have film print enthusiast Craige Blencoe working at Chapel who devotes a lot of his time to sourcing rare film prints for some of the titles Chapel hold theatrical rights to. Recently, Craige discovered a 70mm film print of The Last Starfighter down a salt mine in Mount Iza and we are pleased to be presenting that in two weeks time on Monday May 14th. In a slightly different kind of discovery we will be presenting on Monday May 7th a 70mm film print of The Right Stuff -  a film print recently discovered by Roadshow in the depths of their warehouse in Brisbane. We hope to be presenting even more 35mm and 70mm film print discoveries later in the year as they are discovered and, if the films, once tested, are in runnable condition.

In terms of seasons on this calendar we are also pleased to announce three Sunday evening double features commencing June 10th of The Marx Brothers: Carnival of Mayhem, featuring 4 35mm film prints and two digital presentations. We also very excited to see some of David Lynch’s films back up on the big screen from Sunday July 22nd. Although we tried our hardest to include his entire oeuvre, there were several titles unavailable in terms of theatrical rights in our territory. I’d like to thank the Edinburgh Film House for their assistance in the process of trying to track down the likes of Wild at Heart, David Lynch’s short films and The Elephant Man. Sadly these titles weren’t available to us at the present time here in Australia but we do hope that we might see them in the future and are still working on bringing some of these great films back to the big screen.

A few other sessions that we’re extraordinarily pleased to be presenting on this calendar include a special Melbourne Exclusive screening of The Chemical Brothers: Don’t Think and Faithless: Passing the Baton, both presented on 2K digital Friday May 18th, a special screening of CinemaLive’s Don Giovanni Opera Australia, two rare 35mm film prints of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo and The Holy Mountain, a new 2K DCP of the 1968 musical Oliver!, a special event called Lebowski Bash Melbourne, which includes a Lebowski Tribute band, a Dude lookalike contest, a trivia competition and a Kahlua White Russian bar after party, as well as of course welcoming back regular event screenings of Grease Sing-A-Long, The Blues Brothers and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

We hope this goes some way to explaining at least some of the processes we go through when programming but of course, as always, we welcome your comments, suggestions and feedback so that we can continue to strive to make the Astor Calendar the very best in repertory film programming and so that we can continue to screen the very best in both film and digital projection.

Written by Tara Judah for The Astor Theatre – excerpt from original introduction at May 2012 Calendar Launch.

 

 

LABYRINTH E-NEWS GIVEAWAY

Following our E-newsletter competition giveaway, we can now announce the WINNERS! Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter, we loved reading why you want to see Labyrinth on the big screen and quite a few of the entries even made us giggle. However, we did state that we would have just five winners and with the expert assistance of a meowing Marzipan we eventually selected five (it wasn’t easy and if you disagree with the judging panel’s final decisions, then please do remember that the judge who casts the final vote is a cat. Feel free to take it up with her next time you’re at the theatre, but don’t expect too much feedback.) We did however love your entries SO MUCH that we’ve put the honorable mentions up here with the winners. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to write to us.

WINNER #1: Marg Morris

“My husband of 35 years and I couldn’t afford much when we were married but when I saved up and took him to see the Labyrinth for his birthday it became his favourite movie of all time and he talks to the kids about it often. He is a very hard working husband with little time for himself and I would love to surprise him with a trip to your beautiful theatre to see the movie again. “

WINNER #2: Holly Le Brun

“To be honest, i just want to see this shot on the big screen!”

 

WINNER #3: Anna Prasser

“I don’t require 50-100 words.  I only need six. David Bowie in lycra stretch pants.”

WINNER #4: Jessie Macgregor

“Wow.  Labyrinth is one of my favorite movies and the same for my mum.  We never saw it on the big screen and the VHS copy we had ‘died’ from love and continued use!  I love Hogwart, and Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie are fantastic. I loved how this movie had a strong puppet cast and amazing costumes as well.  It is magical and mum and I would love to finally see it on the big screen, and have a sing-a-long too!”

WINNER #5: Gaylene Carbis

“There are three reasons: 1) to win the favour of my much younger sister, who will love me more if I win a double pass to this film – I’m a writer and that’s an impressive thing but much more impressive when my writing can do things like win me (and my sister) a double-pass to an Astor film;   2) any movie worth seeing has to be seen on the big screen; and 3) the Astor is my favourite cinema in the world, and my sister’s too. The Astor, a great film, a film with my sister: IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.”

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Rebecca Gibbins: “I want free tickets to Labyrinth because I haven’t seen it yet (I know, I know) and I would love to see Bowie on the big screen. Big.”

Chris A: “Would like to see Labyrinth on the big screen, simply because I’ve never seen it before; have been told it’s quite good; stills and production/art design suggest a rich and interesting cinematic world; and your 2K transfer presents an interesting opportunity for a “first-time-ever”.”

Emily Meyer: “I first saw Labyrinth as a small child and was blown away (on small screen too). I’ve been mesmerized ever since, and have seen it several times over the years. I love this film, and am very exciting to finally see it on the big screen, because it will bring new life to the film once again. I will slip back into being about 7 years old and wear pigtails to this screening if I win!!!”[Editor's Note - we hope you'll still come and wear pigtails!]

Ben Turner: “Labyrinth was the defining film of my childhood. The songs, the characters and the unique style of Bowie all came together that first time I saw it on the silver screen, though attempts to recreate the film magic at home so far have had no power over me. Sometimes the way forward is the way back though, and so I believe seeing Labyrinth on the big screen again, at the wonderful old Astor building, would be that helping hand to bring back the Dance, Jump and Film Magic of Jim Henson’s masterpiece for me. And the missus.”

Denver Grenell: “Hi there the reason I want to see labyrinth on the big screen is because the last time I saw it on the big screen it was 1986 in Christchurch, NZ and there were lines around the block to get in and of course also the movie is awesome and I want to see Bowies codpiece blown up to ridiculous size & detail. “

Murphy Wood: “Labyrinth is my Grandma’s favourite film, and when I saw that there was to be a whole week dedicated to the movie, I knew she would love to go with me. I told her all about how the Astor is one of the old, classical style cinemas, and she fell in love with the idea of going to go see a movie she loves, on the big screen, in such a beautiful theatre.”

Mark W: “Who wouldn’t want to see a legend like ‘David Bowie’ in action under the direction of a master like ‘Jim Henson’ ? And I couldn’t think of a more suitable venue, than the Astor Theatre “

Jackie Burke: “Labyrinth is my all time favourite movie.  I saw it at the pictures when it first came out and loved it, mainly because David Bowie looks awesome in it.  I now have children of my own and they have also come to love this movie and it would be even more special seeing it at the wonderful Astor Theatre.  They have never been before so I am looking forward to them experiencing it and the wonderful icecreams.”

Thanks to everyone who entered and if you want to read more about Labyrinth here are some review links we recommend:

LABYRINTH screens exclusively at the Astor Theatre Sunday April 8 to Sunday April 15. Sessions daily at 7.30pm (including Tuesday 10th). Sundays at 2pm, 5pm & 8pm. Tickets $15/$14/$13. No Free List. For more info visit: www.astortheatre.net.au

The Seventh Art

I walk through the doors and the majesty of the place hits me.
Marbled terrazzo floor, high archways, and grand staircase leading up
to the oval foyer.
Faces stare down at me from the walls
Bogart. Hepburn. Heston. Bergmann.
Cruise? I guess they have to make some concessions to modernity.
The swirl of the red, green and gold carpet makes my head spin.
People are milling about, drinking champagne, waiting in anticipation
A beautiful communal experience.
Step up to the candy bar, the buttery popcorn smells like a heart
attack waiting to happen.
I buy Jaffas with the sneaky possibility of rolling them down the aisles.
Ticket gets ripped by a proper gentleman in a bow tie and crimson vest.
I take my seat; the old green leather girl has seen better days.
My back starts to ache.
But then the curtains open, the sound of 35mm celluloid flickering
through the projector fills my ears
and golden light flashes across the screen.
I’m home,
at the movies.

Poem written by Ben Lipson, about the Astor originally for a university assignment, re-printed with permission from the author.