Recent Astor Theatre Renovations & FOTAA Visit to the Theatre. Sept. 2015

The  FOTAA Secretary David Kube, recently had an opportunity to meet with Astor Theatre General Manager Zak Hepburn, and Ralamar’s Dale Smith, and undertake a review of the extensive renovations and building work.


A Summary of the visit can be seen below:

  •  Presentation Of Astor Renovations – PDF Version. Click (pdf file)

  • Presentation Of Astor Renovations – MS PowerPoint Version Click (pptx file)

  • To View a Youtube Video of above Presentation:  Click Here

The FOTAA Inc. Committee



Message from the FOTAA Committee on our future role

Since incorporation in December 2010, FOTAA’s activity had a very clear focus – ensuring a cinema business continued to operate at 1 Chapel Street! After years of uncertainty the recent announcements confirming Palace Cinemas are taking over the operation of the Astor Theatre provides real hope the Astor will continue to operate in the coming years.

What does this mean for FOTAA? Is there a role to play now Palace has taken over?

The Committee Members discussed this, considered our mission statement (see ), and felt there was a role for our community group which we articulated through three practical goals:


  • To maintain a watching brief that the Astor under Palace Cinemas continues to provide the “Astor experience”.

We understand changes will occur – and indeed always have, all the things loved about the Astor today were introduced at some point – and commercial decisions will drive some of them. But this should not be at the expense of the core elements, including architectural ones and the showing of film, FOTAA members believe are important. FOTAA can continue to provide a voice against changes and decisions that conflict with the core elements considered as crucial to the Astor during this transitional period.
  • To facilitate appreciation of the Astor Theatre film culture through social events

    E.g. by organizing discussions post screenings.
  • To establish a structure, including the ownership of the building, that safeguards the Astor for future generations

This is a very different objective from the first two, but seen as a critical by the Committee to avoid future threats to the Astor like those experienced over the past few years.  At the moment we envisage this will require the creation of a not for profit trust that can own the building to prevent commercial decisions replacing the cinema with something else. This is a long term goal and will not be easy, requiring the engagement (and payment of) professionals to advise on various legal, tax, funding, and commercial etc, considerations.

To achieve these goals we need the people who care about the Astor to agree with our approach and continue to be involved and supportive.

In the short to medium term this will mean maintaining an active membership and creating sub-committees to co-ordinate activity.

Further communications will follow, but for the moment we suggest you simply enjoy and celebrate the re-opening of the Astor in June.

We did want to share our thoughts though, and welcome your feedback. Our contact details are below.

The FOTAA Inc. Committee



 2014-15 FOTAA AGM Minutes of Meeting.

All FOTAA members will have been emailed/posted a copy of the 2014-15 FOTAA AGM Minutes of Meeting and FY1314 Financial Statement to FOTAA Members.

Please check your email spam folder if you do not appear to have received these documents.

A downloadable copy is available on our Activities Page in the FOTAA Policies and Documents Section . See Link

(April 11th 2015)


Transcript of the FOTAA Palace Cinemas Presentation

FOTAA have linked below a complete transcript of the FOTAA – Palace Cinemas Presentation by Renato Fonti, and the following Question & Answer forum.

This presentation occurred just prior to the formal 2015 FOTAA AGM, on Saturday 21-03-2015 at the Betty Day Centre St Kilda.

For a copy of the transcript click   Transcription of FOTAA Palace Q&A Rev_A

 (April 7th 2015)

Good news posted late Thursday 2nd April 2015 on the future of the Astor Theatre

From The Age Website , Karl Quinn National FIlm Editor,  Fairfax (02-04-2015)

“The Astor is dead! Long live the Astor!

The cinema will close briefly after this Easter weekend’s screenings, but will be resurrected on June 7 under Palace management.

As the historic art deco cinema on Chapel Street, St Kilda, enters its final weekend, the battle over its future has finally come to a close. After much negotiation, George Florence, who runs the cinema business and owns the tradename Astor Theatre as well as many of the fittings (including projectors, screen and about half the seats), has agreed to sell his interests to Palace Cinemas.”

Read more:


See the Palace Cinemas Press Release 02-04-15 as below


Palace Cinemas Astor Agreement News Release.02-04-15



Also, we will be in contact with our FOTAA Members over the next week or so, with the FOTAA AGM Minutes of Meeting, and the transcript of the Palace Presentation & Q&A .

As Volunteers we have all have been very busy, and we apologise for the delays in releasing those documents.



(April 3rd 2015 Updated with addition of Palace Cinemas Press Release.)

(Original post 02-04-15)


Short Update from FOTAA AGM Meeting 21st March 2015

Many thanks to all the FOTAA Members, the interested members of the Public, and the media who attended the FOTAA AGM on Saturday 21st March 2015.


A short update on the results of the AGM and our planned communications over the next few weeks.

  • We will be publishing the Minutes of the FOTAA Annual General Meeting by 31/03/15 to all FOTAA Members

  • We will issuing a meeting summary of the Palace Cinema Presentation together with the Q&As from the meeting concerning the Palace Cinema Plans for 2015 by 31/03/15

  • Link to The Age Newspaper article by National Film Editor Karl Quinn on the 2015 FOTAA AGM Meeting; and the continuing negotiations around the Palace Cinemas proposed lease of the theatre in 2015.


(March 22nd 2015)

Read Earlier news from 2015

For all media inquiries and to arrange interviews with Vanda Hamilton, President of the Friends of the Astor Association, please contact Vanda via email our website email:

Friends Of The Astor Association (FOTAA) Incorporated, a non-profit organisation managed entirely by unpaid volunteers.

 More News:

Want to help keep The Astor's doors open? Join the Friends Of The Astor

– Visit The Astor Theatre Website –