Melbourne cinema lovers rejoice; the new Lido Cinemas is due to unveil June 25th. The stunning eight-screen artiplex, showing both commercial and art house films, will open on Hawthorn’s bustling Glenferrie Road bringing both excitement and vibrancy with Australian premieres, exclusive releases and a focus on local community engagement.
A labour of love from the owners of Elsternwick’s Classic and Belgrave’s Cameo, cinephiles Eddie and Lindy Tamir, who against all odds, have lovingly restored this beautiful building for an extraordinary cinema opening unseen in Melbourne for many years.
Lido will be the first venue in mainland Australia, to have a rooftop screen attached to a cinema. This exciting project sees some of the world’s most cutting edge technology, including a 4K projector and Dolby Atmos, contrasted in a beautifully historic venue, boasting gorgeous features like an Edwardian-era marble staircase.
Eddie, who has always been a sucker for old buildings and who also restored the Cameo and Classic Cinemas, says: “The building is beautiful and I wanted to keep as much of the traditional charm as possible. While visiting old cinema sites I was most inspired by the ones which still had some of their old characteristics, as well as street theatre; a location with a vibrant atmosphere.”
Eddie, who also founded the Jewish International Film Festival, sees his cinemas as community centres for locals, “it’s important for us that we cater to all people, and to understand that people can like both art-house and commercial films, people are not one dimensional and Lido certainly isn’t either,” Eddie adds.
Aidan Halloran was the man behind the design, who has spent five years working to face the challenge of retaining many of the old features, while installing eight screens and transforming it into an exciting cinema. “The original decorative plaster ceiling, the two original marble and tiled staircases, and the multi-coloured 1930s terrazzo floor in the foyer are some of the aspects we were able to refresh and restore. The new elements sit in obvious contrast to the old, adding another layer to the long history of the building, which served as a theatre, cinema, pool hall, dance studio, and cabaret venue, among others,” said Aidan. Lido was home to a cinema in 1917 but closed down in 1956.
The fabulous Hawthorn location has boomed in recent years, with the launch of exciting eateries like Fonda Mexican, the redevelopment of the Hawthorn Arts Centre and charming cafes like Crabapple Kitchen, who will also be opening Vaporetta – a Venetian Bar Restaurant backing onto the cinemas. With the launch of Lido and new Huxtaburger and Yo-Chi stores, Hawthorn is set to continue growing as a prime location.
“Even with the boom of downloading films, the romance and experience of going to the cinema will always be paramount in the industry. Restoring an old, beautiful building adds to the theatre of the whole cinema experience,” adds Eddie.
The cinemas will open with an eclectic mix of art house titles, family holiday releases and upmarket commercial releases catering for all tastes including Minions, Pixar’s Inside Out, the story of The Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson Love & Mercy, Far From The Madding Crowd based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, an exclusive Lido season of JIFF 2014 hit, the critically acclaimed and multi-award winning black comedy Zero Motivation, and an ongoing partnership with Monster Pictures which will include the annual Monster Fest, Australia’s Premiere horror film festival, plus a weekly Friday night Monster Fest Presents Midnight Mayhem showcase which kicks off with the Melbourne Premiere of the much anticipated THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3 (FINAL SEQUENCE).
In addition, the Lido launch period will include the Lido’s 8K Radius Film Series, in partnership with City of Boroondara, directed by Kenny’s Clayton Jacobson and focusing on the weird and wonderful stories of everyday people living and working in the area, an Australian film focus lead by the new film Last Cab To Darwin starring Michael Caton and Jacki Weaver, and following with support for a number of local gems. In addition, the Lido is working on exciting programmes and partnerships with Swinburne’s famed School Of Film & TV, in addition to a number of cultural film festivals with partnering organisations.
675 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn