Since the early 1940s, Surry Hills has been the romantic home of cinema and the neighbourhood reflects the old golden age of the silver screen. The architecturally stunning Paramount Pictures Studio and the old 20th Century Fox headquarters sit side-by-side facing out over Harmony Park. Just around the corner the Hotel Hollywood is still presided over by exshowbiz girl Doris Goddard whose stint in LA is well documented on the bar walls.
Now, thanks to the enterprise of some passionate creative people and cinephiles, a new Golden Age is coming to Surry Hills with the Golden Age Cinema & Bar which opened in the old Paramount Pictures Studio on September 6,2013.
After many decades of loneliness and neglect, the heritage-listed Paramount Building has been lovingly restored and redeveloped by property company Citadin. Iconic features such as terracotta tiles and wood panels have been kept in place to maintain the integrity of the building, while a new entry on Commonwealth Street opposite Longrain has created a fantastic atrium for a new café which has also opened its doors.
Golden Age Cinema will be located in the old basement theatrette for the building which was used to screen film reels to service women in World War II and for Paramount to show off its reels to cinema owners from around the country. While the cinema will reflect the old Golden Age of film in Surry Hills, the adjacent bar is more modern and speaks perfectly to the new Golden Age of the neighbourhood as the epicenter for design-savvy creative businesses and curious inner-city audiences.
FILMS & EVENTS
The Golden Age Cinema program will combine the classic with the contemporary and find creative ways to bring films to life through events at the bar and throughout the Paramount Building. Local film luminary and radio broadcaster Kate Jinx will curate the Golden Age’s cutting edge film program. Programming highlights will include:
GOLDEN AGE MOVIES AT GOLDEN AGE PRICES
On Tuesday night, admission will be for the same price as a movie ticket was in the year of the film’s release.
FILM AND FOOD MATCHING
Golden Age bar and guest chefs will pair food with films.
Matinees aren’t just for grannies – Golden Age Cinema will present sophisticated Saturday and Sunday afternoon matinee screenings.
GOLDEN AGE BAR
The Golden Age food and drink offer is still in planning stages. Designed for both pre and post cinema refreshments, as well as functioning as a venue in its own right, the bar’s menu is set to include:
•Traditional cocktails served in an untraditional way
•The best new wines served alongside well-aged cheeses
•Local craft beer accompanied by the finest quality cured meats
•New approaches to old cinema snack favourites
THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE PROJECT
Golden Age Cinema & Bar has been led by the award winning Right Angle Studio – a bewitching creative group whose mission is to understand and improve life in our cities. Right Angle publish Sydney’s online subcultural guide Two Thousand, built The Pond pop-up restaurant in Darlinghurst which morphed to become The Commons Local Eating House, and launched Melbourne’s world-renowned Rooftop Cinema in 2007. Right Angle is currently engaged in many of Sydney’s urban renewal projects including Barangaroo, the new Convention Centre redevelopment and the City of Sydney’s finegrain grants program.
One of the Golden Age Cinema's co-founders, Barrie Barton said, "although the name Golden Age could easily be interpreted as being solely a tribute to the past, the experience is also a celebration of the here and now. It is a new hospitality and cinema model, with state of the art technology and contemporary film presented in an historic space."