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.


October 24

7:00pm – THE SEA WOLF
Michael Curtiz (1941) 100 mins – Unclassified 15 +*

Recently restored to its original length, Curtiz’s highly atmospheric adaptation of Jack London’s psychological adventure novel is “a triumph of studio filmmaking” (J. Hoberman) focusing on a sadistic ship’s captain (Edward G. Robinson), who runs his vessel like a concentration camp, up against a United Nations of “fellow” travellers – an accidental passenger (Alexander Knox), a rebellious seaman and a prison fugitive (a wonderfully hardboiled Lupino) – trying to escape. This moody anti-fascist parable features contributions by many key figures of the Hollywood Blacklist including writer Robert Rossen and co-star John Garfield.

8:50pm – PRIVATE HELL 36
Don Siegel (1954) 81 mins – Unclassified 15 +*

Lupino’s taut screenplay (with Collier Young) for Siegel’s bold and muscular policier reveals her as an acute observer of masculine codes of violence and a progenitor of the likes of Kathryn Bigelow. Steve Cochran and Howard Duff star as cops who find themselves first chasing, then fatalistically tempted by, a $300,000 robbery haul before becoming entangled with Lupino’s tough-as-nails nightclub singer. Lupino depicts a noir-inflected world where no one goes unpunished and easy temptation only begets degradation and betrayal. With Dean Jagger and Dorothy Malone.

35mm print courtesy of the British Film Institute Archive.

Ida Lupino’s Hard Noir: ‘Private Hell 36’ by Eloise Ross.


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.

Presented by The Melbourne Cinémathèque with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Curated by the Melbourne Cinémathèque.

Curatorial Committee: Michael Koller, Michelle Carey, Adrian Danks, Eloise Ross and Cerise Howard.

Supported by Screen Australia and Film Victoria.


For all the latest news including program changes follow us via Twitter & Facebook.


NOTICE: The committee of The Melbourne Cinémathèque wishes to make some changes to our constitution, however, to do that we now have to conform to the model constitution in the 2012 Act, so a number of other changes are also required.

Here is a copy of the constitution with the changes on RED.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque Constitution 2018.

We wish to pass these changes at the AGM on Wednesday May 30, at 6:40pm.

Please read the RED stuff and consider. It won’t take long. Then come along to the AGM.