Friday, December 26, 2003

Return Of The CAMEO

   As I walked into the newly refurbished and revamped Cinema One at The Cameo Cinema at Belgrave, a well dressed gentleman standing inside the doors apologized that adjustments were still being made to the screen. "No problems" I replied "I'm just happy you've re-opened.." and I was. My wife and I had enjoyed many movies at the Belgrave Cameo Cinema over the years, and were dismayed to hear it was to close down in 2003. Close down it did, for a while, only to be purchased/rescued by Eddie Tamir (Classic Elsternwick) who has revamped it with a fourth cinema, new seats and speaker systems and plans for an outdoor screen next year.
   So there I was making my way to my seat, watching as some workmen with a very tall ladder fiddled about with the screen for a few minutes before collapsing it and hopping off the main stage, satisfied with their screen-tweaking, to the delighted applause of the audience. Then a young looking gentleman in a t-shirt and a neat blazer (Mr. Tamir, I presumed, but wasn't sure having never seen the fellow before) stood at the front of the stage with a microphone and thanked us for being the first audience at the first session of the new Cameo cinema.
He also pointed out that we were probably the first ever cinema audience to witness the adjustments to a brand new screen, which apparently had only been delivered a short time before! He also mentioned that the new speaker system (which I can happily report sounded fantastic) were only passed through customs 48 hours ago and were unpacked and setup on the day before Christmas.
   So it really was a bit of a Christmas miracle that we, the audience, got to view The Return of the King, the third and last film in the epic Peter Jackson adaptation of Tolkein's best known work, on Boxing Day morning 2003. Despite the last minute screen adjustments and so forth, the Movie started bang on time. When I left the movie I was pleased to see a large crowd in the foyer and extending out the door past the brand new side-walk cafe that is also part of the new set-up ~ I snapped a couple of photos of the turn-out from the other side of the road (see above).
   Thanks to Mr. Tamir for bringing my favourite Cinema back to life and giving Melbourne film goers a different choice with a bit of character and atmosphere from the huge multiplex cinemas that seem to lack the soul that the Cameo and other independent cinemas have. The film? Ah! I will tell you about that some other day perhaps, for it has been a long day, a long week in fact! Suffice to say, it lived up to all my expectations! Enough to see it doubt at the same venue too! Read more about my favourite Cinema re-opening...


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