Palace Films and Cinemas
Palace Films and Cinemas is an Australian film production and distribution company that is also a major cinema chain in various Australian capital cities. Palace Cinemas currently comprises 20 cinemas with 91 screens. The business employs over 500 staff and the head office is in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn, connected to the Balwyn Theatre (also called Balwyn Cinema), which is the oldest theatre/cinema operated by Palace, and one of the oldest cinemas still in operation in Australia, having opened in originally in 1930. The cinemas generally specialize in a mixture of foreign language, mainstream, independent and art house films. In 2015 they also introduced a focus on classic movies partly due to the acquisition of The Astor Theatre.
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 Dendy 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 on their own, they are in partnership with Luna Cinemas. As such the Perth cinemas, called "Luna Palace Cinemas" have their own independent website and have their own membership program and offers. Palace Cinemas regular nationwide membership, and offers in other states, is 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.
- Nova Eastend (Rundle Street)
- Byron Bay
- Palace Electric
- The Astor Theatre (Classic films mostly)
- Balwyn (head office)
- Dendy Brighton
- Brighton Bay
- Kino (partnership)
Cinemas in partnership with Luna Cinemas. The outdoor cinemas run during the summer months only.
- Luna Leederville (including Luna Outdoor Cinema)
- Luna on SX
- Windsor Cinema
- Camelot (Mosman Park)
- Norton Street, Leichhardt
Palace Cinemas host regular minor international film festivals, including the Alliance Française French Film Festival, the Lavazza Italian Film Festival, the Spanish Film Festival, German Film Festival and Israeli Film Festival.
- List of companies of Australia
- List of film production companies
- List of television production companies
- Palace Cinemas: History, retrieved 23 February 2011
- Palace Cinemas: Contact Us, retrieved 11 March 2012
- Palace Films Website
- Palace Cinemas Website
- Luna Palace Cinemas official website
- Alliance Francaise French Film Festival Website
- Lavazza Italian Film Festival homepage
- The Age: Say hola to cultural freedom, 30 April 2010