‘Tis the season for open-air cinemas in Melbourne (see: Rooftop Cinema, Ben & Jerry’s Open-Air St Kilda, Moonlight Cinema, Shadow Electric to name a few). While many of them are about pulling out the classic and cult hits, newcomer Lido Cinemas will screen predominantly new-release films on its rooftop this summer.
Lido on the Roof is the newest feature from the Hawthorn boutique cinema. “This is the last piece of the Lido puzzle,” says owner Eddie Tamir (also behind Cameo Cinemas in Belgrave and Classic Cinemas in Elsternwick).
Tamir hopes Lido will stir the Netflix-and-chill generation to get out and enjoy cinema.
“Part of presenting films to today’s generation means bringing them a cinematic experience with spectacle. You need a unique event atmosphere to get people away from downloading at home,” says Tamir.
Because of Lido’s existing cinema downstairs (which launched just over three months ago), Lido’s rooftop cinema has access to the newest releases – something many outdoor cinemas don’t have.
“The way film distribution works, generally these outdoor operations run cult-classics, re-runs or second release, because the first release is tied to an existing cinema. But we have that, so we can play all the new releases upstairs on our rooftop, too,” says Tamir.
The venue is in the final stages of coming together. Australian native flowerbeds are being planted, and striped chairs and beanbags are on their way.
But the main feature of the rooftop is the view. “You get all the immediate scenery from Hawthorn and Kew: period buildings, spires and rooftops, but you can also see the CBD,” says Tamir.
The 100-seat venue will serve food and drinks, plus Victorian wines and beers.
Lido on the Roof opens on November 12 with a screening of the latest James Bond film, Spectre. Also on the program is Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The full summer program will be announced next week.