Friday, 2 January 2015

Save the Palladium! Historic Shepherd's Bush Cinema Faces Demolition

Shepherd's Bush Palladium, originally the Cinematograph Theatre, in 1910
The Shepherd's Bush Palladium, more recently known as the Walkabout Pub, is facing demolition.  A pre-planning application has been received by the Council to turn it into a 16 storey block of - you guessed it - luxury flats. It will be an extension to the new Dorsett Regency hotel, itself a converted former cinema. Built in 1910 as the Shepherd's Bush Cinematograph Theatre, The Palladium stopped showing films in 1981, and was eventually converted into a pub, owned and operated for many years by the Walkabout chain. Until last year, Kiwis in flip flops and fancy dress were a common sight in The Bush.

The Palladium-turned-Walkabout in 2008. Australasian Heaven. Photo: Wikipedia
The original theatre was one of the oldest in the country. It was first built in 1910, which is almost the beginning of moving pictures, after all. And it is true that the economics of movie theatres has moved on, but surely some profitable use can be found for this still-elegant piece of Edwardian Shepherd's Bush.

Pop around the corner of the old theatre, which still wears its Australasian green yellow and gold plumage out front, and you can see the old painted ticket prices down the side of the building, advertising tickets from a shilling and sixpence (the posh seats) to thruppence (the cheap seats).

Shepherd's Bush Green Conservation Area. The Palladium is shown in yellow

The Palladium is in a Conservation Area - Shepherd's Bush Green, but the building is not on the listed buildings register - which makes its position precarious. It narrowly missed a flying bomb in WW2 but, as so often happens in London, it looks as if developers may succeed where the Luftwaffe failed.

Surely the Palladium is a piece of old Old Shepherd's Bush that is worth preserving?

Leading the campaign to preserve it is the Hammersmith and Fulham Historic Buildings Group, who are opposing the planning application.

The Bush Telegraph offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. Read about the Campaign to Save Hammersmith Park, find out about our new Farmer's Market, see what's on at The Bush Theatre,  find out the latest news on the future of Shepherd's Bush Market,  and the Council's plans to upgrade the Goldhawk Road and the Uxbridge Road. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at

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