Fremantle Stuff > Cinemas > Palladium

Palladium Theatre

The Palladium Theatre and Gardens, 73 Market St, near Bannister St, 1914-1925. Higham's Buildings in Market St occupy the whole block between Bannister and High Streets: the Palladium was behind the southern (or left-hand) third. The offices and shops of the street frontage are still in situ, but the cinema itself is gone. Note that the theatre was on or very close to the corner of Bannister Street, so that access might have been possible from there as well as from what I assume was the main entrance on Market St, under the marquee shown in the photograph.


Higham's Building, about 1914, showing the name PALLADIUM in the left-hand of the building's three pediments. I assume the semi-circular canopy in front of the sign is the marquee of the theatre. The sign running vertically down the building says, in part, CONTINUOUS. Image courtesy Fremantle City Library Local History Collection.

highams building

This is the pediment which used to have the PALLADIUM sign in it.

For threepence we could go to the Palladium, an awful old picture theatre with a cement floor, that used to be on the corner of Bannister Street. I remember them waving around a spray (to fumigate the theatre?) and I also remember I loved the smell of the peanut roasters inside the threatre! There was always such a mess left by the piles of peanut shells. Elizabeth Grose [born 1910] 2004, 'Where are the Snowdrops', in Karen Lang & Jan Newman, Wharf Rats and Other Stories: 100 Years of Growing up in Fremantle, FPS.

There was a brief attempt to use the Palladium Gardens in 1976 as reported in the West Australian of 6 May 1976, with this photograph:

palladium gardens

The text accompanying the photograph is as follows.
[Image courtesy Fremantle City Library Local History Collection.]

Private Show

A nostalgic private showing of old Charlie Chaplin films—with some of the guests dressed in old time costume was held in Fremantle recently.
It was held in the old Palladium Gardens (pictured right) in Bannister Street, which was one of Fremantle's earliest picture gardens.
The gardens have not been used as a theatre for nearly fifty years.
Since the World War it has been used by C. L. Peake and Sons, plumbers as a store and workshops.
It has now been sold to a credit union and its future has not been decided.
The fine old timber gallery of the gardens is still largely intact but it is hidden from the street now by a wall.
The Palladium Gardens was never very successful as a theatre after its start in about 1917.
It closed down for several years before re-opening again for a period.

References and Links

WA CinemaWeb page

Some of the theatre's programs are retrievable from newspaper records, as follows.


Thomas Meighan in "Back Home and Broke," heads the new programme which commences at the Palladium Theatre, Fremantle today. The supporting feature is "Don Quixote of the Rio Grande" starring Jack Hoxie. The usual children's matinee will be held, when "community singing" of popular songs will take place. Tomorrow night "While Satan Sleeps," featuring Jack Holt, will be screened.

The West Australian [Perth], Saturday 6 October 1923: 12

Notes. Back Home and Broke, a comedy, was released in the USA in December 1922. The Jack Hoxie film is, according to IMDb, entitled Don Quickshot of the Rio Grande. It is, as its title suggests, a western. It was released 4 June 1923, so the print got to Fremantle quite quickly. While Satan Sleeps sounds to be an unfortunate title to screen on a Sunday: it is another western.


The main feature at the Palladium Theatre, Fremantle to-day is "If I Marry Again," starring Doris Kenyon, supported by Anna Q. Nilsson, Lloyd Hughes, and Frank Mayo. The second attraction is "Squibs M.P.," featuring Betty Balfour. Also showing are a comedy and topical gazette.

The West Australian [Perth], Saturday 26 August 1925: 11

Notes. If I Marry Again is a drama that was released in Feb 1925. Here's a plot summary from IMDb.
When his son marries a woman whose mother is the madame of a brothel, a wealthy father in San Francisco disowns him. The newlyweds travel to the South Seas, where he gets a job on a plantation. The father sends an agent to the plantation to try to buy off his son's bride, but she won't go for it. Not long afterwards she gives birth to a son, and unfortunately her husband soon dies. She returns to San Francisco with her newborn son, determined to have her vengeance on her former father-in-law.
Squibs M.P. is a comedy. Betty Balfour plays the eponymous Squibs. The film had been released in the USA in 1923.


"Super Speed," a racing automobile story, featuring Reed Howes, supported by Mildred Harris, will be the principal attraction at the Palladium Theatre, Fremantle, to-day. The supporting picture is "The Mask of Lopez," starring Fred Thompson, with his horse Silver King. A two-reel comedy, gazettes and the third of "The Leather Pushers" series starring Billy Sullivan, will complete the programme. There will be a special children's matinee to-day at 2 p.m. An instrumental concert will be held at the theatre on Sunday, November 1, and the proceeds will be in aid of the Fremantle Public Hospital. Items will be given by local artists.

The West Australian [Perth], Saturday 24 October 1925: 14

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