Palladium Theatre

73 Market Street,
Fremantle, WA 6160

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Greater Union Theatres

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Palladium  Theatre

The Palladium Theatre was the brainchild of Fremantle entrepreneur & bookmaker Bill Lean, and was built at a cost of £1,500. Entrance to the theatre was gained in Market Street through an arcade. The Palladium Theatre was opened on 1st December 1914 with a policy of continuous pictures which ran from mid-day through to with an admission charge of three-pence. The theatre had a flexible seating policy of 800 to 1,000 patrons and was built in a single level stadium format. Bill Lean was also the exhibitor and the theatre was known as Lean’s Fremantle Palladium. A Miss Gillarn was employed as the official piano player. The first programme consisted of local productions. The usual children’s matinee’s would be held on a regular basis.

Picture Gardens were built next to the theatre in Bannister Street and opened in 1917, operating on two levels which featured a balcony and stalls sections. The gardens were one of Fremantle’s earliest picture gardens. Entrance to the gardens was through the theatre. In June 1918 it was acquired by Sir Thomas Coombe and became one of the Union Theatres chain, which it still remained until it was closed in 1923. The Picture Gardens were reopened for a short time from 1923 to 1925.

Since World War II the gardens have been used by C.L. Peake & Sons, plumbers, as a store and workshop. This continued until the 1980’s when both properties were demolished. Metro Theatre projectionist Ron Trinick was a projectionist at the Palladium Cinema in the early-1920’s.

Contributed by Greg Lynch
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