The Null Device

Westgarth Cinema

I heard this morning on 3RRR (to which I listen via web streaming) that the Westgarth Cinema, the lush art-deco cinema in Northcote, has now passed into the hands of the Palace cinema group (who also run a similarly opulent arthouse cinema in St Kilda), who have refurbished and reopened it.

This sounds like good news. I remember when the Westgarth was the Valhalla (or "the Val" in the local parlance). It played a lot of quirky arthouse and cult movies, and the stairwell was adorned by a model Viking longboat. Then the landlords who owned the site decided that they wanted a piece of the action, forced the tenants out and took over, replacing most of the quirky content with insipid American family movies and disnannies (where, presumably, the money was; after all, freaks and geeks will only bring in so much). They kept a few things (the occasional scifi/horror marathon and the Blues Brothers events), though this was more of an exception than a rule.

Anyway, it's good to hear that it's now run by someone with a good reputation for putting on interesting films. Let's hope that it lives up to its promise.

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