Reviving a theatre


Call me romantic but stepping inside old cinema palace the Lido made me think of guys named Frank taking gals named Lois on their first date.

Melbourne's Lido cinema on

Revamped cinemas on

Photo – Tania Savage Production – Martine Harte.

It’s hard to believe this vibrant space had been vacant for more than a decade before the Tamir family took hold. Thanks to Eddie and Lindy’s foresight it’s now an eight-screen-plus-rooftop gem in Melbourne’s Hawthorn.

The Lido cinema Hawthorn on

Photo – Tania Savage Production – Martine Harte.


Photo – Tania Savage Production – Martine Harte.

Engaging Women at the Lido cinema on

Photo – Tania Savage Production – Martine Harte.

The Glenferrie Theatre opened in 1911 boasting beautiful pressed-metal ceilings. They were boarded up – as was the fashion.

The idea to revive the complex came about after the family obtained a copy of a guide to historic cinemas in Melbourne, Eddie drove around to about 50 to see which ones he could work his magic on.

“He loves the old and I love the new. He’s the one whose heart went out to these old cinemas and he studied all the closed down cinemas around Melbourne. He knows every building, we also restored the Cameo in the Dandenong hills and the Classic in Elsternwick,” says Lindy.

The original Lido closed in the 1950s, there was an upstairs dance school and a cabaret.

People will now find a mix of art-house and mainstream programming including the 2015 Chinese Film Festival. It’s proximity to Swinburne university and the high proportion of foreign students is also likely to influence what’s on.

Hawthorn's Lido Cinema on

Photo – Tania Savage Production – Martine Harte.

Lindy Tamir has an interesting back story of her own, “I was in fashion for ten years, with a label called Lindy Lane, manufactured in Australia and stocked throughout the country. We have five children (they’re big kids now aged between twenty and twenty-six) who actually work part-time in the business even if they’re doing other careers. We share this so there’s a lot of cinema talk around the table, it’s fun.” she explains.

Already, the experience is producing some lovely life moments:

“We met a lady who was 9-years old when her mother ran the lolly shop at the entrance of the cinema, she’s actually going to bring her mum here (she’s in her nineties) it was wonderful to meet her.”

The Lido has a jazz room, contemporary design and cutting-edge cinema technology. The multi-coloured 1930s terrazzo floor in the foyer is very special.

Inside the Lido cinema Hawthorn on

Photo – Tania Savage Production – Martine Harte.


Photo – Tania Savage Production – Martine Harte.

Lido's cinema 2 on

Photo – Tania Savage Production – Martine Harte.



Photo – Tania Savage

The rooftop theatre will be open when Melbourne’s weather smiles.

Learn more here

Got five: want to see inside some fantastic Melbourne homes? Pop over here…

About Martine Harte

Martine Harte is founder of Engaging Women, a platform for social good.
She is dedicated voice in the advancement of women & girls. Contact: to learn more about mentorship or the Ambassadors program.

Learn more about her here and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.


Posted in The Arts.