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Great Western/Filmers Palace Hotel history

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Robert Scott had purchased 24 acres in the vicinity from the Crown in 1864 for £24/5/-

At first the hotel was called the St. Leonards Hotel named after the local estate.

The land was subdivided in 1883 the name changed to the Great Western in 1886.

Several licensees had run the Hotel before it was destroyed by fire in 1907.

The new Palace Hotel was built in 1909.

Photos from our Pictorial History of Redcliffe Book 1824-1949 - available to purchase at the following link:

Harold and Lillian Filmer purchased the freehold for 4000 pounds in 1926/27 after leasing the Palace for several years.

A 1950 Letterette on display at the History Tea Lounge in the Cominos Arcade.

Their son Ken, who ran an electrical business, and his wife Mavis managed the Hotel from 1952.

The Bee Gees performed there in 1959. They each received a bottle of Coca Cola and their parents Hugh and Barbara enjoyed a beer for their efforts.

Ken died in 1961 and Lil leased the Hotel for three years before returning with Mavis as manager and Harold passing away that same year.

The Filmer team of Lil and Mavis and Daisy (twin sister of Lil after Daisy's husband Arthur had

died earlier) continued until Daisy and Lil passed away within months of each other in late

1974 and 1st January 1975. The licence had been transferred to Mavis in 1971. July 1977

marked the Golden Jubilee of family ownership of the Hotel. Mavis' only child, son Leigh, was in a fatal car accident in 1995 in Melbourne.

The unique family connection stopped when Mavis retired in 2002 at the age of 81. For 80 years, it was known as Filmers Palace Hotel and the new owners reverted to the Palace Hotel.

Mavis Jean Filmer passed away on Sunday 5th December 2004, aged 83 years 11 months.

Demolition of the building took place in December 2014

Filmers Palace Hotel and Victoria House paintings by local artist Alex Enborisoff:

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