Speakeasy Cinema 1000 £ Bend Lt Lonsdale St Melbourne

Speakeasy Cinema is one of the newest cinema experiences in Melbourne and I loved its hip, low-fi aesthetic. A ramshackle collection of mismatched chairs. Nostalgic lolly bags and ice creams for sale. Milk crates to steady your drinks. The whole experience made me feel like I was going at an underground film event crossed with going to the ‘flicks’ at the steamy cinema of a small country town in the 30s.

Speakeasy Cinema 1000 £ Bend Lt Lonsdale St Melbourne

At the same time as purchasing your film ticket you can buy a saganaki or roo burger plus a beer or wine. We tried both of the juicy, tasty burgers and they were just the thing for a pre-cinema snack.

As much as I loved the general thrown-together aesthetic, I do have a couple of middle-aged gripes regarding the upstairs cinema:

  • For your own comfort, get upstairs reasonably early and try to select your seats based on whether they are padded.  You’re going to be there for 2 hours and hard plastic seats = sore bums.
  • Given that the floor is flat, maybe Speakeasy Cinema could consider placing the lines of chairs in staggered positions? The sight of heads craning further and further out towards the aisle was almost comical, like an armless Mexican wave leading away from the screen.  It’s quite torturous watching a film with a neck crick or having to constantly shuffle your position.
  • I’m not entirely sure why being a young, hip art student entitles you to be rude and loud during a film. Yes you could bring drinks into the cinema but never before have I been to a film where there was so much up-and-downess for loo breaks. And chat! I hate chat in movies. Especially if you’re not talking about the film.

Speakeasy Cinema is the opposite of your slick, multiplex, blockbuster movie-going experience. It shows independent art-house films in a grungy setting and is altogether very cool. Just a little more consideration for the audience’s comfort would make it perfect.

Check out MEL: HOT OR NOT tomorrow for a review of Beautiful Losers, part of Speakeasy Cinema‘s opening season of films.