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Sunny Western Australia seems an unlikely place to film a movie set in 1940s war-torn Russia – and in the middle of
blizzard, no less. And yet, for screenwriter and director Roderick MacKay, it was a challenge he relished. “It was a sheer
joy, and the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done in my life, but we always intended this project would throw us in the
deep end,” says Roderick. “To my knowledge, nothing like this has ever been done in Western Australia, so it was
an experiment, but everyone really rose to the challenges.” He employed a local team, and cast WA actors including
Miles Pollard (Drift, Wolverine Origins, McCloud’s Daughters), Lizzie Schebesta (Underbelly Razor, Sleeping Beauty) and
Ben O’Toole (Love Child, The Water Diviner). The story follows a munitions factory manager and his machinists who
investivate a power failure caused by a raging snowstorm. So... not your typical Aussie flick. “As an Australian filmmaker
I can genuinely say I love Australian stories, but variety is the spice of life,” says Roderick. “So we wanted to broaden our
narrative palette and try telling global stories for the world. Why not Russia?” Factory 293 is released in August.
Something about drive-in cinemas seems a little retro,
even if you’re not evoking the screening of The Blob
in Grease, like we are. But we love watching a film
underneath the stars, nestled in a blanket in the back of
a car. Lucky for us, there are still two drive-in cinemas left
in WA. Check out Galaxy Drive-In Theatre’s bargain nights
on Tuesday (only $20 for the car), and the 45-year-old
Busselton Drive-In Outdoor Cinema, still going strong
with double movie screenings and a drive-in snack bar.
We reckon it’s totally worth the drive – after all, you won’t
even need to leave your car. Bonus points for cruising
down in a vintage Cadillac. Goollelal Drive, Kingsley;
500 Bussell Highway, Broadwater.
ASTOR THEATRE PERTH
Although this old art deco building is more frequently
used as a venue for live music, theatre and comedy, it
feels the cinematic love by playing host to a bunch of
film festivals, plus screening the occasional cult classic.
659 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley.
Taking its name from a classic Italian film, it’s not
surprising this cinema favours European pictures
alongside several foreign film festivals. We love the
shabby grandeur, with a fancy foyer bar and red velvet
chairs. 164 James Street, Northbridge.
It’s worth a trip just for the art deco architecture, which
has been listed on the state’s Heritage Register, but
its select range of thought-provoking films will prolong
your stay. 16 Preston Street, Como.
Perhaps the top destination for Perth cinephiles,
Luna Leederville is home to four movie screens (plus
a beanbag-strewn outdoor space in summer), which
play a range of curated art-house flicks. 155 Oxford
LUNA ON SX
This little pocket of a cinema gives Fremantle
moviegoers an alternative to brain cell-slaying
blockbusters. We love buying the themed, tongue-in-
cheek lolly bags. 13 Essex Street, Fremantle.
THE WINDSOR CINEMA
With an old-school storefront that could make you
feel like you’ve time-travelled to the 1930s, the Windsor
made Perth cinema history when it was the first to
screen a subtitled film. Nowadays, it stays true to its
roots by screening meticulously chosen international
films. 98 Stirling Highway, Nedlands.
For the full list of cinemas, go to scoop.com.au.
The Windsor Cinema.
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