Freo's View


Posted in art, city of fremantle, creative, culture, Uncategorized by freoview on October 3, 2019


I just received this message from SPACEMARKET who will be activating Fremantle’s historic Victoria Hall for at least two years.

Below an edited version of the message they sent out:

Exciting news — this week we’ve been handed the [space activation] keys for the next two-years to one of Fremantle’s most stunning buildings — the historic Victoria Hall on High Street! 

We propose to inject life back into this special building with workspaces for arts & cultural organisations, the re-opening of the tiny bar alongside, and the return of the hall to the community as an affordable venue and event space. This is an interim activation over the next two years, while the new Civic Centre is built in King’s Square. 

Within the building, we have office space for up to six cultural production and creative service businesses. We’ve got a particular focus on film and broadcasting – think production offices, rehearsal space, screenings, workshops and filming – but also music and performing arts, publishing and visual arts, and services such as advertising and marketing, architecture and design, creative software and digital content. Note, this building isn’t suitable for art studios, but we’re on the hunt for new maker spaces as I write this.  

As for the hall itself, it has capacity for up to 280 persons and we’d love the calendar to be bursting with every type of local event you can think of —meetings, fundraisers, school shows, performance, workshops, clothes sales, markets, music, weddings, club meets, dance classes, yoga classes — you name it. It’s going to take a mo to get the venue hire booking system up and running, but we’ll be back to you as soon as we’ve made the online hire process smooth and easy for you to use. 

In the meantime, if you’re a small film biz, design outfit, a production company, a not-for-profit org, an architecture firm, a dance school etc. and looking for a new home (in a stunning space right in the centre of Fremantle) please get in touch. Likewise, if you need a space for reoccurring meetings / get-togethers / rehearsals etc – let us schedule you in before we start booking in the one-off events. 

We’ll be taking expressions of interest throughout October, to apply please fill out an EOI form here and we will be back to you shortly. If you would like to look at booking the hall for a re-occurring event or for more info please email us at at or with VICTORIA HALL RENTAL as the subject line. 

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, museum, religion, Uncategorized by freoview on August 23, 2019


Could Fremantle become the new Mecca for Christians with a new Bible Museum?

I have been told that an application has been lodged with the City of Fremantle for a Bible Museum at Victoria Hall.

In an extensive document the applicants say the Bible Museum revolves around the Reid Family Bible Collection which has collated over 3,000 bibles and other biblical items over the past 40 years.

There would be a guided tour on mobile app and exhibitions in Chinese, Indian and other Asian languages. There are also bible translations in many Aboriginal languages.

The proponents say this would be a unique tourist attraction for Fremantle that would also attract many school groups.

To preserve historic Victoria Hall the displays would be free standing and not attached to the walls.

Some critics of Fremantle might well argue that Freo only will have a future with divine intervention, so a Bible Museum might just be the start.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, community, heritage, local government, property, Uncategorized by freoview on July 26, 2019


The City of Fremantle is looking for expressions of interest to lease three properties in town.

Historic Victoria Hall is available for lease, after attempts by the City to sell it failed.

Also for lease, but for community purposes only, is the St John’s ambulance site at Parry Street. I am not sure what happened with the memorandum of understanding the City signed for that building with a soccer club.

And for lease again is the old Weighbridge Station in the roundabout at Phillimore Street. It has no connection to water or sewerage so that will limit its use.

More information is on the City of Fremantle website.

Roel Loopers




Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 9, 2018




There is no doubt that the people at the Anglican Parish of Fremantle believe in miracles and Father Christmas, or they have been listening too often to Janis Joplin’s oh Lord won’t you buy me a beautiful hall, or might it be that the collection boxes in church remain empty on Sundays?

Their offer to buy gorgeous, heritage-listed Victoria Hall from the City of Fremantle for just one dollar is either tongue in cheek, desperation, or hoping for divine intervention, because the old hall is worth around $ 2 million.

The tender process to try to sell Victoria Hall attracted 30 interests, but just the one, rather silly, offer, so now Fremantle City will put the hall out for sale on the open market.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, property, Uncategorized by freoview on October 31, 2018


Victoria Hall


The City of Fremantle has started to advertise the sale of historic Victoria Hall in High Street, just east of Kings Square.

St John of God church has expressed an interest in the past to purchase it and open the hall to the community. That would probably be the best outcome, as developers would want to build something behind the beautiful hall.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, fly by night club, Uncategorized by freoview on August 31, 2018


Interesting to read in the Fremantle Herald today that St John’s church is considering buying the historic Victoria Hall from the City of Fremantle.

According to the Chook St John’s would consider leasing the hall to the Fly by Night club.

I doubt though that the church will be as generous to the musicians club as the City of Fremantle has been. CoF waived over $ 80,000 in outstanding rent the Fly never paid.

Roel Loopers



There is something quite endearing about the naivety that Fremantle Council displays on occasions, as was the case last night when allowing the Fly by Night club to stay in Victoria Hall three months longer, so now they do not have to vacate the premises at the end of August, and the for sale signs at the beautiful heritage building will have to wait a while.

One Councillor said that the Fly had offered to pay $ 3,000 rent per month, so supposedly that was a good thing. But there is no guarantee whatsoever that the musicians club will actually pay that rent. One of the reasons they have to vacate Victoria Hall is that Council had to write off thousands of dollars in outstanding rent, and they have had financial help from Council previously.

But no one talked about a bank or personal guarantee, so that there is certainty the rent will actually be paid!

That is nothing new in Fremantle where Council in the past financially bailed out the Deckchair theatre company, Kulcha, and artists up at Arthur Head. Sign a lease with Freo City and just stop paying rent and it will become an unrecoverable debt. I hope Enkel and DADAA are not reading this!

Roel Loopers






Victoria Hall


The City of Fremantle will offer historic Victoria Hall for sale from September this year.

The building, designed by Talbot Hobbs, is one of the last Goldrush period buildings east of Kings Square and was built in 1896/97 as the St John’s Parish Hall.

It was renamed Victoria Hall to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria.

A previous Fremantle Council planned to demolish the building to allow for widening of High Street, but the Builders Labourers Federation put a Green Ban on it and saved the building from demolition.

The sale of Victoria Hall is in line with the adopted 2018/19 budget and comes as a result of the Fly by Night club moving out, as it has not demonstrated ongoing sustainability. The City will waive outstanding rent debt.

Victoria Hall was bought by the City of Fremantle in 2001 and restored for an estimated $ 2 million.

Net proceeds from any sale will be placed in the Town Hall Conservation Reserve and the Heritage Reserve of the City.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, culture, fly by night club, music, Uncategorized by freoview on June 6, 2018


The Fly by Night Club, which has been an iconic part of the Fremantle music scene for more than 30 years, will leave Victoria Hall in August this year.

The City of Fremantle has gone out of its way to help the Fly survive, including offering half-price rent on Victoria Hall, spending more than $20,000 to improve the acoustics of the hall and giving them a $20,000 cash grant. Fremantle Council also agreed to waive the club’s outstanding debt to the City, which was around $70,000.

Despite lots of hard work by the Fly by Night board and staff and support from the City of Fremantle, the Fly has not been able to make Victoria Hall work as a profitable venue.

While not supporting a long-term extension of the lease when it was considered in February, the council did agree to a six-month, rent-free lease to allow the club to honour existing bookings and give it time to transition to a new arrangement.

Over the past few months the City has been working with the club to help them improve the sustainability of the business and find a new home in Fremantle. This has included exploring opportunities for the Fly to continue to present shows after August in other suitable venues in Fremantle, including the Navy Club, Fremantle Town Hall and South Fremantle Football Club event space.



Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, fly by night club, music, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2018


I received new information about the rumour that the Fly by Night club might be leaving Fremantle.

My informant told me that City of Fremantle officers will recommend to Council to terminate the Fly’s lease for Victoria Hall, so it will be a Council decision to keep the live music venue going or let is die.

Money is probably the issue here, so we will have to wait and see if Fremantle Council is willing to financially support the Fly by Night club again, or let them go.

Before the Fly moved into Victoria Hall Clancy’s offered to manage the heritage building as a live music venue and run the bar and daytime cafe, but that offer was not taken up by Fremantle Council.

Roel Loopers

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