Melbourne has added another independent cinema to its collection, with the Thornbury Picture House opening its doors. Making its home within a former garage on High Street, the art nouveau theatre and adjoining bar are the brainchild of Gus Berger, whose name you might remember as the one behind St Kilda's George Revival Cinema back in 2013 and 2014.
For his latest project, Berger has created a moviegoer's dream: a 57-seat cinema rocking a big six-metre screen, a top-notch Krix 5.1 sound system and an expertly curated program of big screen gems. Open from Wednesday to Sunday each week, the venue's aims to showcase an impressive mix of documentaries, cult classics, festival favourites and international titles, with the first fortnight's lineup featuring Ai Weiwei's doco Human Flow, Oscar winner The Shape of Water, Aussie classic Death in Brunswick, New Zealand comedy What We Do in the Shadows and a session of iconic silent film The General with a live score.
In addition, Thornbury Picture House will be giving plenty of screen-time to local filmmakers — it's the new home of Berger's long-running Red Hot Shorts event, and there are plans for it to host a new northside film festival in the not so distant future.
Meanwhile, the site's interiors pay homage to the building's art nouveau origins, sprinkled with historic film gear and classic movie posters. The bar, too, is a nod to the good old days, with the original garage features brought to life alongside recycled wooden furniture and pops of green foliage.
Here, you can chase a film with Aussie spirits, local beers from the likes of Stomping Ground and Hawkers, a tidy selection of independent wines and batch brew coffee by Padre. Of course, there's plenty of homemade popcorn to round out the moviegoing experience.