Earlier today The Friends of The Astor Theatre launched an online petition – concerned that St Michael’s Grammar School will not be extending the current lease with The Astor after 2015.
This afternoon I contacted St Michael’s Grammar School for an interview.
They declined the request but have released this statement (below):
Wednesday 16 May 2012
Statement regarding The Astor Building
St Michael’s Grammar School bought The Astor building in 2007. The building is a part of the living history of St Kilda with its beautiful Art Deco interiors and left largely untouched since it was built in the 1930s. Since then, St Michael’s has been bringing the site up to current occupational health and safety standards. The Astor continues to operate as a cinema and its facilities have been used for student assemblies.
With the ownership of such an iconic Melbourne landmark comes great responsibility. Acknowledging The Astor’s importance to the community, St Michael’s is currently undertaking a wide-ranging process of assessment and evaluation, considering all possible options for the future of The Astor.
Once St Michael’s has a better understanding of the direction we will be taking, we will embark upon an extensive consultation process with the local and broader community. We are committed to honouring the current lease arrangements with The Astor which extend until 2015.
Our overwhelming guiding principle is our desire to protect and preserve our heritage, respecting The Astor’s architectural, historical and social significance.
It is far too early to speculate on the long-term uses for The Astor.