Geelong dance and bingo hall the Palais up for grabs

The Palais in Moorabool St, Geelong, hosted dances, live music and bingo for decades.

One of Geelong’s most recognisable entertainment venues has hit the market seeking a buyer with eyes down to continue with redevelopment plans. 

The Palais Royal building at 297-301 Moorabool St, Geelong, is being offered for sale or lease through an expressions of interest campaign launched this week.

Gartland Property, Geelong, director Michael De Stefano says permits are in place for the redevelopment into a live arts and cinema complex with an underground car park but the property’s owners now want another party to take on the project.

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De Stefano wouldn’t reveal price hopes for the property.

But De Stefano says the campaign could unearth a buyer with alternative plans for the 2598sqm site that was used as a bingo centre since the 1980s.

Palais Royal building Geelong

The last bingo game was called at the Palais in 2016.

“It has still has a licence for a bingo centre but other uses, subject to council approval, could be hotel accommodation,” De Stefano says.

The property measures more than 2500sqm and is separated into four lots with three street frontages. It is opposite the former Gordon TAFE Moorabool St campus, which was converted into The Devlin serviced apartments complex in 2015.

“There is a massive amount of potential in that building and something that’s really unique to Geelong as well,” De Stefano says.

The Palais building started as the Joy Ark movie theatre over the water at Eastern Beach in 1912. By the 1920s it was hosting roller skating, dances and concerts before it was removed in 1926 and rebuilt on its current site where generations of Geelong couples met at the regular dances. The property is protected by heritage overlays.

The last bingo game was called at the site in 2016.

Palais owner Frank Tripolino announced the redevelopment plans in 2013.

But De Stefano says the building offers buyers many possibilities.

“The latest plans to take it into the future as a live theatre, cinema and function centre are in place. They are looking for someone to come along and do that,” he says.

“We’ve thrown it onto the market for expressions of interest because plenty of people are going to have different ideas.”

“Those plans are in place and I’d love to see them come to fruition because what is planned is fantastic but they will let someone else do that now.”

This article from the Geelong Advertiser was originally published as “Former Geelong dance and bingo hall, the Palais is on the market”.