Palace Cinemas (Australia)

Palace Cinemas is the fifth largest major cinema chain in Australia, with various locations in CBD and inner suburban areas of most capital cities. Palace Cinemas currently comprises 24 cinemas with 180 screens and provides employment to more than 550 staff. Its head office is based in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra, close to its Cinema Como flagship.

Focusing on a mature and sophisticated premium cinema experience, Palace offers a boutique style luxurious experience including sophisticated bars and cafes together with a curated program of latest release films alongside a collection of international film festivals (including the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival, Italian Film Festival and Spanish Film Festival).[1][2] In 2015, the chain saved The Astor Theatre which remains the southern hemispheres oldest continuously running single screen theatre.[3]

Palace Cinemas

The Palace Cinema chain operates in most states, except Tasmania and the Northern Territory. They exhibit films of either a mainstream, classic or an arthouse type, but the cinemas are usually focused on one film type or the other. The mainstream cinemas usually have several auditoriums that are fitted for projecting RealD 3D films, but unlike other major chains this is only on one or two dedicated screens. Initially Palace used Dolby 3D for several years before converting to the cheaper 3D format. Due to a recent decline in demand for the format, Palace now rarely shows films in 3D as of mid-2016.

Notably, Palace operates several cinemas that originally opened as single screen theatres (some of which have received heritage status). All, except for the heritage protected the Astor, have subsequently been renovated and internally converted to multiplex, sometimes with the original screen, remaining as the largest auditorium/cinema at each venue. The original facades, box office, candy-bar and foyers in these historic venues, have been modernised and restored with care.

In the Melbourne suburb of Brighton, Palace operates 2 Cinemas within 10 minutes drive of each other, making it one of the only operators in Australia to own two indoor cinemas in the same suburb. Dendy Brighton, on Church Street, is more centralised in Brighton's main shopping strip, and therefore shows commercial films. Brighton Bay, is in another smaller shopping strip on Bay Street, in North Brighton, and plays mostly arthouse films. The two cinemas will not show the same films (although this rule has been ignored on a few occasions, due to demand).

Palace does not own the cinemas in Perth outright, instead are owned and operated in partnership with Luna Cinemas. As such, the Perth cinemas are called "Luna Palace Cinemas" and have their own independent website, membership program and offers.[4] Palace Cinema's regular nationwide membership and offers in other states, are therefore not necessarily valid at these cinemas. "Luna Palace" uniquely operates 2 seasonal outdoor cinemas, one in Leederville (opposite their traditional cinema) and one in Mosman Park.

Although Kino Cinemas in Melbourne is also a Partnership operation, they have decided to honour the membership card program and ticket discount offers.

In late-2016, Palace shifted their head office to a new location and used the office space from old building to significantly expand, restore and renovate the original Balwyn location into an 11 screen multiplex with 3 fully licensed bars(although the additional 6 cinemas are screening room sized). The renovation preserved the heritage listed aspects of the building, and was the cinema's second restoration in less than 10 years.

In New South Wales, Palace Cinemas operates four cinemas, with two more under construction. They have two in Paddington, Sydney, one of which is the restored art-house Chauvel (Which mirrors the Astor in Melbourne programming) and the updated four screened Verona cinema. In the inner-west, Palace Cinemas also operates Norton Street cinema, which is its focus for its Italian film festival openings (due to the history of the Leichhardt). Lastly, in 2017, Palace Cinemas opened its NSW flagship venue Palace Central, which has 10 normal screens and the first location of Palace Cinemas Palace Platinum, its first foray into premium content. Palace Cinemas is also constructing a cinema in Byron Bay and Double Bay, Sydney.

Locations

Adelaide

Brisbane

  • Barracks
  • Centro

Byron Bay

  • Byron Bay

Canberra

  • Palace Electric

Melbourne

  • The Astor Theatre (Classic films mostly)
  • Balwyn
  • Dendy Brighton
  • Brighton Bay
  • Como
  • Kino (partnership)
  • Westgarth

Perth

Cinemas wholly under the Palace banner:

  • Palace Paradiso, Northbridge
  • Palace Raine Square, Perth

Cinemas in partnership with Luna Cinemas.[4] The outdoor cinemas run during the summer months only.

Sydney

  • Norton Street, Leichhardt
  • Chauvel
  • Verona
  • Central Park, Ultimo[5]
  • Double Bay - Under construction

Film festivals

Palace Cinemas host regular minor international film festivals, including the Alliance Française French Film Festival,[6] the Lavazza Italian Film Festival,[7] the Spanish Film Festival,[8] German Film Festival and the British Film Festival.

Palace Films

Palace has produced and distributed such Australian films as Kokoda and Chopper, and distribute many foreign language films in Australia.[9][10]

See also

References

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