Melbourne’s Lunar Drive-in cinema closes after 67 years due to land tax hike

The iconic open-air cinema in southeast Melbourne has become the latest cost-of-living casualty by announcing it will close in 67 years.

Lunar Drive-in in Dandenong is Australia’s largest drive-in theater. When it first opened in 1956 it was one of the first cars built in Australia.

Nearly seven decades later, the theater is still popular, hosting 400,000 guests a year. But in just six weeks, Lunar Drive-in will close for good due to pressure on the cost of living.

“July 9th will be the last night at Lunar Drive-in,” the company wrote on Facebook.

“We’d like to thank all of our loyal customers, our amazing employees past and present, and all of our supplier friends in the industry.”

Lunar Drive-in said they will be hosting “a screening of the latest blockbusters along with some classics” for the last six weeks.

“Tickets for our final nights are now on sale on our website, with more screenings coming in the coming weeks,” the company added.

“We look forward to seeing many of you before closing. Thank you for supporting Lunar Drive-in, Dandenong.”

The venue’s land tax has risen to a staggering $1,000 a day and is projected to double in the next few years.

Owner David Kilderry said the cost just wasn’t worth it.

“Fifteen acres of land… it’s hard to justify when there’s no one here during the day and we only work a few hours every night,” he said. 7 News.

“We are especially sad for our customers and our employees, as well as for some of our long-term suppliers.”

Lunar Drive-in has shared its movie schedule over the past few weeks, including screenings of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, The Flash, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

But the schedule for June 9th reads: “The Lunar Run is closed forever after tonight. Thank you to all our customers, employees and suppliers.”

The final evening will feature screenings of Austin Powers: Goldmember and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Doom, both at 7:00 pm.

The cinema site has been sold and will be redevelopment.

Originally published as Australia’s iconic Lunar Drive-in cinema closes after 67 years