Drive-In Horror

Edie Kurzer, Australia 2020

Drive-in cinema blueprint

Courtesy of David Kilderry, Lunar Drive-In Dandenong

Object On display
Photograph by Egmont Contreras, ACMI.

Sweeping Australia in the 1950s and based on the American model, the drive-in cinema became one of the country’s most popular theatrical experiences. Capitalising on the communal experience and outdoor environment, genre films – and horror in particular – thrived in this format. Australia’s first drive-in cinema, the Skyline, opened in Burwood, Melbourne in 1954, followed by the Lunar Drive-In in Dandenong in 1956, which is still operating. At the peak of their popularity, there were over 330 drive-ins across the country, before a downturn in the 1980s. Their place in popular culture was cemented when Ozploitation director Brian Trenchard-Smith used one as his futuristic prison in dystopian horror film Dead End Drive-In in 1986

Curator Notes

Edie Kurzer is a celebrated Australian designer. Twice she has won the AACTA Award, the most prestigious prize for costume design in Australia, for her work on the iconic 6 part TV series Picnic at Hanging Rock (Foxtel /FremantleMedia) and the highly lauded ABC mini-series Molly. With Picnic she also won the coveted Australian Production Design Guild’s prize and in 2019 won it once more for the feature film Judy & Punch.

Over the past twenty-five years in Australia Edie has made crucial contributions to major productions such as: the Gillian Armstrong-directed documentary feature film Women He’s Undressed (about Orry Kelly); the influential TV mini-series Secret River and Violent Earth; and the feature films South Solitary (starring Miranda Otto), Look Both Ways, Matching Jack, and Thank God He Met Lizzie (starring Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh and Frances O’Connor). She also designed costumes for Josh Thomas on his ground-breaking television series Please Like Me (season 4).

Internationally, Edie has worked with director Bill Bennett on both In a Savage land and Tempted (starring Burt Reynolds and Saffron Burrows) and with the renowned British film and theatre director Mike Leigh on the Royal Stratford Theatre’s production of A Greek Tragedy (London/Edinburgh/Sydney).

Edie has also collaborated in vital cultural and educational projects in Indigenous communities in major cities and in remote regions of Australia.

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Not in ACMI's collection

On display until

16 February 2031

ACMI: Gallery 1

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier

Curatorial section

The Story of the Moving Image → Foyer → Entry → FSF-02. Fed Sq Foyer Cabinets → FSF Cabinet 10

Object Types

3D Object



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