Shoestring Melbourne: The First Site Gallery and The Astor

Alright, so for this week I’m going to kick it off with something close to home before sending you waaaaaay off to Chapel St.

I’m afraid, once again, I will have to take a bit of liberty with money on the second one, but I promise it’s not that bad.

So, along the western edge of RMIT’s campus, between the entrance to Storey Hall and the entrance to building 8 (where the Hub, the Library, and the Cafeteria all are) is a small set of steps leading down in to the ‘First Site Gallery’.

This is a place where artists of a variety of disciplines, primarily taken from RMIT’s student pool, can put on exhibitions.

There are new exhibitions every fortnight and the Facebook page I linked to above has an ‘events’ tab with the upcoming shows listed.

Entry is free, so there’s really no excuse to not get in there and check out some of the work being produced by other RMIT students when you have a bit of time on campus.

So, on to the other subject for this week.

Some of you may have heard about this one before and I’ll admit that I’ve kept it up my sleeve to strategically drop on here as I know it’s a good one.

It’s the Astor Theatre, a cinema that specializes in ‘Fine Film and Atmosphere’.

They have very short runs of films, many only on a single day, and play older films from classics through to ’90s nostalgia-candy, and even the occasional current release.

Right now, for instance, the front page is covered in ads for The Neverending Story, just to give you an idea of the type of film you can hope to see there.

Not that I would ever recommend watching that film as an adult.

Labyrinth and Ghostbusters (a double header coming up on the 28th) are another matter entirely.

Cost wise you’re looking at $10-$14 with concession, so as promised it’s not too bad, although you’ll probably have to get public transport out to it.

The theatre is on the corner of Chapel St and Dandenong Rd, right by the Windsor train station, and there are instructions on which tram lines to grab on the Astor’s website.

I must (once again) apologize for something here because, in my desire to hold back on the Astor, I did prevent anyone new to the Theatre from meeting Marzipan, the cat who lived there and was weirdly famous for it.

He passed away recently, so sorry about that.

in text

Rest in Peace, Marzipan.

Alastair Collins


Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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