Rooftop Flicks

Rooftop Cinema:

Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC

Where you watch a movie is becoming just as important as the movie you watch. If you’ve seen a movie at one of the more inspiring open air cinemas you’ll know that nothing ups the atmosphere like the great outdoors. So how about movies on top of a city building to accelerate the excitement?Melbourne’s Rooftop Cinema is perched six stories up on top of Curtin House, Swanston Street. Half a city block deep and 70 metres wide; the open-air venue features comfortable seating on canvas deck chairs for 200 people.Just like a private backyard high in the sky, the viewing area features red-jarrah timber decking and surrounding banquette seating for pre-or post-film lounging on a hot Summer’s evening.To complete the experience this rooftop paradise also includes a fully licensed bar/catering facility operated by (building stablemates) Cookie.  Dinner and drinks are served before or during the movie — whichever you prefer.The Rooftop Cinema is the brainchild of Melbourne publisher Barrie Barton, a former national marketing manager at Moonlight Cinemas.  “A friend in New York told me about this fantastic set-up, where a cinema screen travels to different rooftops around Manhattan,” Mr Barton said. “You get sent an email saying, ‘This Saturday, it’s on at a rooftop on Bleecker Street, or wherever,’ and you just turn up.” That was Mr Barton’s inspiration and three year of planning and $1m later the stunning result exceeded even his and business partner Francesco Nazzari’s expectations. “When you see a movie like Lost in Translation or Blade Runner in the Rooftop Cinema it adds something completely amazing.” Every great cinema needs a state-of-the-art sound system — in this case from Martin Audio powered by QSC PLX2 amps. “The Martin system is very different; it’s more like a huge hi-fi system,” said audio designer Nathan Pugh of One Productions. The Rooftop Cinema hibernates during winter, but Cookie maintains a far-from-shabby Rooftop Bar in the mean time.

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