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Architecture: Cameo Cinemas

May 26, 2011

ITN Architects’ project in Belgrave, Victoria draws on the traditional form of the cinema building, providing a new venue for an indoor and outdoor cinema.

This project added two new cinemas to an existing complex in the Dandenong ranges. The cinemas had to be located to the rear of the existing cinema, and to maintain the existing outdoor cinema space, projection booth and generator. These ended up tucked under the archways of the new building.

The new building, while providing a “black box” space for the cinemas, also needed to act as a billboard to the passing trains below, and to the outdoor patrons. In the summer months the outdoor cinema is the major attraction of the venue. The exterior of the building draws upon the grandiose classical allusions of many early cinema designs, while the cinema interiors reference the surrounding bush, with silhouettes of gums, birds and possums, reinstating a similar theme that was once painted onto the walls of the original cameo cinemas. The small foyer bar and corridor link back to the 70s front of the complex, with jaffa orange walls and mirrored furniture.

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