Dedicated to screening rare & significant films in their original format.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run film society.

We hold screenings at The Australian Centre for the Moving image every Wednesday night for most of the year.

Admission is by membership, which can be obtained on a monthly or yearly basis.



Robert Altman
 (1997) 72 mins

Rare screening of Altman’s evocative, lively and personally felt recreation of an all-night jam session in Kansas City in 1934. Filmed during the making of Altman’s partly autobiographical reminiscence of his home town in the 1930s, Kansas City, this dramatised musical documentary is dominated by the brilliantly staged cutting contest between saxophonists Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. Features a range of the best contemporary jazz musicians, such as Craig Handy, Joshua Redman, Ron Carter, David “Fathead” Newman, playing several of the greats of the emerging swing era: Young, Hawkins, Count Basie, Ben Webster, Mary Lou Williams. Narrated by Harry Belafonte.

Please note, this special Monday screening will be preceded by an introductory talk on Altman by Adrian Danks (co-curator of the Melbourne Cinémathèque and author of A Companion to Robert Altman published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2015).

35mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Televison Archive.



The Melbourne Cinémathèque started out as the Melbourne University Film Society (MUFS) in 1948 and changed its name to Cinémathèque in 1984.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque aims to present films in the medium they were created and as closely as possible to screen films the way they would have originally screened (i.e. big screen, celluloid prints, not video or DVD).

Programmes include a diverse selection of classic and contemporary films showcasing director retrospectives, special guest appearances and thematic series including archival material and new or restored prints.

We have on occasion hosted numerous seminars featuring renowned film scholars such as David Bordwell, Adrian Martin and Ian Christie. We are also dedicated to providing new annotations on the films we screen via the CTEQ annotations, hosted as a part of the quarterly online film journal Senses of Cinema.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered and membership-driven relying on support from individuals, foundations, corporations and government funding to maintain its high standard of excellence. If you would like to be involved, or to offer donations or sponsorship, please contact us.


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MARCH 16, 7:00PM Douglas Sirk’s ALL I DESIRE to be replaced by Billy Wilder’s DOUBLE INDEMNITY as part of the Barbara Stanwyck program.