Cinemas are back: A rundown of the Melbourne theatres reopening this month

Cinemas are back: A rundown of the Melbourne theatres reopening this month

Transitions Film Festival
Words by Kate Streader

A guide to which cinemas are reopening in Melbourne and when.

As of midnight Sunday November 8, cinemas are permitted to reopen to the public and after spending the majority of 2020 in shutdown mode, Melbourne’s beloved movie theatres are firing up the popcorn machines and projectors at last. As has become the new normal in COVID times, bookings will be essential, capacity will be capped, social distancing will be enforced and increased hygiene measures will be in place, but hey, it sure beats being stuck at home. Here’s a rundown of when your favourite theatres will be reopening and what they’ll be playing.

Cinema Nova

Having spent most of the lockdown period awaiting a green light from Dan Andrews, Carlton’s Cinema Nova was ready and eager to fling its doors open on Monday November 9. The Nova program is stacked with over 25 new releases as well as a bunch of films whose runs were cut short by lockdown, including Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder; Australian dramedy Rams; Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending sci-fi thriller Tenet and more. Plus, with COVID-19 delaying production and filming this year, Nova will fill the sparse 2020/21 release schedule with six Australian features to support the local film industry and showcase some local uncovered gems.

Check out the full program and book your tickets at the Cinema Nova website.

Palace Cinemas

Palace Cinemas will welcome customers to its Balwyn, Como, Westgarth, The Astor, Kino, Dendy Brighton and Brighton Bay theatres on Thursday November 12, with tickets already on sale. They’ll be screening a massive selection of exciting releases over the coming weeks, too, including the likes of the Academy Award-nominated Polish drama Corpus Christi; the Broadway show-cum-Spike Lee-directed documentary David Byrne’s American Utopia; and the brand-new reboot of Roald Dahl’s classic, The Witches.

Check out the full program and book your tickets at the Palace Cinemas website.

Village Cinemas

After eight long months of forced-closure, Village Cinemas is inviting cinephiles to bask in the warm glow of silver screens across all 17 of its Victorian locations – not including Coburg Drive-In, which reopened late last month – from Thursday November 12. The program includes a mix of classics, including A Nightmare on Elm Street and Pulp Fiction, and new releases, such as body-swap thriller Freaky and Bill & Ted Face the Music, which needs no introduction.


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We are excited to announce that our Victorian locations will reopen on November 12!⁠ ⁠ We can’t thank those who have supported us during the closure period enough. Loud and passionate voices allowed us to continue dialogue with the Victorian Government, leading to an approved COVID-Safe Cinema plan. We are grateful to the Victorian Government for welcoming these conversations and allowing all cinemas to reopen.⁠ ⁠ The magic of the big screen has been sorely missed by so many people during months of isolation. Countless movie-lovers have reached out to tell us how much the cinema experience means to them, we can’t wait to welcome you all back to reconnect with your loved ones at the movies. The reopening also means that thousands of dedicated employees will return to work after eight months of closure. To say we’re ready for a giant popcorn is an understatement.⁠ ⁠ There’s work to be done behind the scenes to get ready, but keep an eye out because we’ll be announcing tickets on sale soon! Be the first to know when tickets go on sale by signing up to Vrewards from the link in our bio ☝🏼⁠ ⁠ Thank you again, Victoria. We’ll see you at the movies.

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Check out the full program and book your tickets at the Village Cinemas website.

Thornbury Picture House

Reopening on Wednesday November 11, Thornbury Picture House has already sold-out several sessions. An independent theatre passionate about Australian film, Thornbury Picture House will relaunch with the heart-wrenching Aussie coming-of-age dramedy Babyteeth, as well as celebrating NAIDOC Week with a special screening of the 1983 Stolen Generations documentary Lousy Little Sixpence. They’ve also put together a special program of live music films for all us music-loving Melburnians desperately missing gigs, including Idiot Prayer – Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace, Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold The Concert and Prince’s Sign ‘O The Times.


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Our little cinema re-opens from Wednesday and we’ve chosen the heartbreaking but excellent Australian film, BABYTEETH as our opener. We then go into some more great films over the week such as Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending, time-traveling TENET, our kids’ film is ASTRO KID, Taika Waititi’s team in BABY DONE and to acknowledge & celebrate NAIDOC WEEK, a special screening of the landmark 1983 documentary LOUSY LITTLE SIXPENCE introduced by filmmaker Daryl Dellora. Tix for all on sale now. – For the time being, we’re limited to 20 patron capacities and our seating/ticketing system will create an automatic bubble around you or your group for distancing. Groups up to 10 are permitted to sit together. We also have to leave 30 minutes between film sessions to reduce crowding in the foyer, so we have had to reduce our usual numbers of screenings due to this. We expect it to be a temporary measure. A reminder for wheelchair users, your seats to choose from are B6, B7 and B9. – Tickets in bio or – 10 days of zero cases, cinemas and other good places opening up, NAIDOC Week, Biden/Harris, sunshine. Reasons to be cheerful as Ian Dury once said.. 😎 – – #naidoc2020 #indiecinema #thornbury #tenet @latrioli @jacintaparsons @madmanfilms @babyteethfilm #wedidit💪

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Check out the full program and book your tickets at the Thornbury Picture House website.

Sun Theatre

Yarraville’s art-deco cinema, Sun Theatre, was so excited to be back in action that it hosted three special midnight screenings on Sunday night to mark the exact moment restrictions lifted on cinemas. They’ll officially reopen on Wednesday November 11 with a program including Radioactive, a film documenting Marie Curie’s scientific breakthroughs and legacy; Slim & I, a documentary following the life and musical partnership of Slim Dusty and Joy McKean; thriller The Mutants, based on the MARVEL comic series of the same name; and more.

Check out the full program and book your tickets at the Sun Theatre website.

Classic Cinemas

Elsternwick’s Classic Cinemas is back, baby! As are its sister theatres, Hawthorn’s Lido Cinemas and Belgrave’s Cameo Cinemas, as of today. As always, there’s a huge spread of mainstream and arthouse picks on the menu, including Miranda July’s Kajillionaire, the Seth Rogan-starring An American Pickle, and the semi-autobiographical horror Shirley. And with summer so close you can taste it, there’s no better time to hit the Classic Rooftop Cinema for a special sunset screening.

Check out the full program and book your tickets at the Classic Cinemas website.


You’ll have to wait a little longer to catch a flick at IMAX, which is set to reopen on Thursday November 19, but with the largest cinema screen in the world and an earth-rumbling sound system, your patience will certainly be worthwhile. IMAX will welcome back movie-goers with two special screenings of Tenet to provide the visceral, immersive viewing experience Christopher Nolan intended. The coming weeks will also bring screenings of Michael Jordan To The Max, 1988 anime classic Akira and Wonder Woman 1984. 


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BIG news movie-lovers, IMAX is reopening on Thursday November 19! Member pre-sale for TENET 1570 and 4K starts tomorrow Monday November 9 @ 12pm. General public will go on sale @ 2pm 🎞️ Capacities will be capped at 20 from 19 – 22 November and will increase to 100 from November 23, pending public health advice. You’ll need to login to access the Member pre-sale. The safety of our staff and patrons remains our top priority and we’re increasing sanitisation of the theatre and other high use areas, implementing physical distancing measures and more. Masks will be mandatory but can be removed for eating and drinking. Find out more via the link in bio. Keep an eye out for more info in your inboxes today. We’ve missed you folks, see you soon!! 🙌 🎉 . . . #IMAX #IMAXMelbourne #Reopening #WhatsOnMelbourne #TENET #YASSSSS #IMAXExperience #1570Film

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Check out the full program and book your tickets at the IMAX website.

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