Shepherd's Bush Palladium

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Shepherd’s Bush Palladium
Australian bar at Shepherd's Bush - - 725313.jpg
The Walkabout pub, formerly the Shepherd’s Bush Palladium, in 2008
Former names Cinematograph
the Essoldo
The Classic
Odeon Cinema
General information
Type Cinema, later a pub
Architectural style Edwardian.
Location Shepherd's Bush
Address Shepherd's Bush Green
Town or city London
Country England
Completed 1910
Renovated 1923
Technical details
Structural system Brick, concrete.
Design and construction
Architect John Stanley Coombe Beard

The Shepherd's Bush Palladium (alternatively Shepherds Bush Palladium) is a former cinema in Shepherd's Bush, London, originally built in 1910 as the Shepherd's Bush Cinematograph Theatre. The building has had a number of owners over the years and finally stopped showing films in 1981. After standing empty for some time, it was eventually converted into a pub and for many years was owned and operated by the Walkabout chain of Australasian-themed bars. In October 2013 the building was sold to a property developer, and in 2014 it was the subject of a pre-planning application to demolish the building and replace it with a 16 storey block of flats.


Shepherd's Bush Cinematograph circa 1910

The Palladium was completed on 3 March 1910 and was originally called the Shepherd's Bush Cinematograph Theatre. The original owner was Montagu Pyke; the building was designed by an unknown architect. The original seating capacity was 900.

From the beginning there were problems. In January 1921 the manager of the Cinematograph complained to Hammersmith Council - which owned the local electricity supply station - that there was too little power available to screen films, and that therefore the theatre had to close at 6.15pm. He claimed compensation of £60 for loss of business.[1]

In November 1923 the building reopened with 763 seats as the New Palladium (later called the Palladium, the Essoldo, the Classic, and finally the Odeon 2), designed by architect John Stanley Coombe Beard. Beard designed many cinemas in and around London, judged by one architectural historian as "excellent, if stylistically slightly eccentric".[2]

During World War 2 the building narrowly escaped being hit by a flying bomb, which in 1944 hit the neighbouring Shepherd’s Bush Pavilion, destroying the original interior. The Pavilion did not re-open until 1955.[1][3]

The Palladium was modernised again in 1968 and the seating was reduced to 500; reopening was delayed by a fire.[4] In 1972 the building was renamed The Classic.[5]

The building was taken over by Odeon Cinemas in 1973 and renamed Odeon 2.[5][6] However, it did not flourish and the cinema closed in December 1981 for the last time.[5]

Walkabout era[edit]

After standing empty for some time, the Palladium was eventually converted into a pub.[4] Until October 2013 the building was owned and operated by the Walkabout chain of Australasian bars.[4] Early in 2011 the owners applied for an extension to its opening hours, but the application was rejected owing to opposition from local residents.[7][8] In October 2013 the Walkabout closed for good, and was sold to a developer.[9][10]

Threat of demolition[edit]

As of March 2010 the Palladium is not a listed building, but it falls within the Shepherd's Bush Conservation Area, established by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to promote the protection of local buildings of historic interest, and improve the character of the neighbourhood.[11] In 2014, it was the subject of a pre-planning application to demolish the building and replace it with a 16 storey block of flats.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Barbara Denny, Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush Past, London: Historical Publications, 1995, ISBN 0-948667-32-X, p. 101.
  2. ^ Richard Gray, Cinemas in Britain: One Hundred Years of Cinema Architecture, The Cinema Theatre Association, London: Lund Humphries, 1996, ISBN 978-0-85331-685-5, p. 27.
  3. ^ "New plans submitted for Shepherd's Bush Pavilion", Shepherd's Bush, 6 November 2009, retrieved December 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Ian Grundy, Odeon 2 Shepherd's Bush at Cinema Treasures.
  5. ^ a b c Denny, p. 99.
  6. ^ Allen Eyles, Odeon Cinemas volume 2: From J. Arthur Rank to the Multiplex, Cinema Theatre Association, London: British Film Institute, 2005, ISBN 1-84457-048-7, p. 246.
  7. ^ Chris Underwood, "Walkabout Shepherd's Bush applies for 2am license", Shepherd's Bush blog, 10 February 2011, retrieved December 2011.
  8. ^ Greg Burns, "Walkabout's opening extension bid rejected", Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle, 13 May 2011, retrieved December 2011.
  9. ^ Jeff Hampton, "Shepherd's Bush Pub closes down", 3 News, 5 October 2013, retrieved 12 December 2013.
  10. ^ Ben Groundwater, "What happened to London's Aussie expats?", The Backpacker, Traveller, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 October 2013, retrieved 12 December 2013.
  11. ^ Shepherd's Bush Conservation Area, Hammersmith & Fulham, updated 31 March 2010, retrieved December 2011.
  12. ^ Hammersmith and Fulham Historic Buildings Group, Newsletter, Issue No. 31, Autumn 2014, p. 6.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′13″N 0°13′29″W / 51.50369°N 0.22462°W / 51.50369; -0.22462