Fremantle Stuff > buildings > St George's Hall
500 Hay St
St George’s Hall was the first purpose-built theatre in Perth, opening in 1879. Designed for solicitors Septimus Burt and Edward Stone, it was erected next to their office on Howick Street (now called Hay Street). The first performance took place on 4 December 1879, a melodrama called ‘The Colleen Bawn’ performed by local amateur actors.
The architect for the building was probably Henry Prinsep, who designed the Corinthian columns for the entrance, which together with the pediment above are all that survive of the hall after it was demolished in the 1980s. The inspiration for the design is said to be the Lyceum Theatre in London.
It seems that St George’s Hall was considered a place for Perth’s elite to enjoy entertainments, although for the youth who could not go to a Government House ball, provided they were appropriately chaperoned, there were regular dances at the Hay Street venue to a “three or four piece orchestra”.
After most of the hall was demolished in the 1980s, only the façade remained. 2008 the District Court Building was constructed behind the portico, and the architects of the new building have interpreted the St George’s Hall’s history at the entrance to the registry hall. Heritage Perth.
St George’s Hall’s (main and lesser) opened on 4th December 1879. ... Renamed Sixpenny Picture Palace on 11th December 1907. Sixpenny Picture Palace closed towards the end of April 1908, and name changed back to St George’s Hall, and no longer screened films, used for floor and dance music only. Date of closure of St George’s Hall unknown.
Demolished in the 1980s or 1995? except for the portico and front step. A car park was built behind the portico, until the car park was removed in (2007 or 2008?), and the new W.A. District Court built behind the portico, and opened in 2008. Cinema Treasures.
cinematreasures.org, via Ausstage.
Heritage Perth page.
Garry Gillard | New: 2 April, 2019 | Now: 9 November, 2019