Places I Love – Fremantle Prison’s Pop-up Cinema

Words and pictures by Jean Hudson @jeansodyssey

I’ve been to jail twice in the past week!

No, not with Monopoly – and I haven’t broken the law!

The courtyard of Fremantle Prison has been transformed into the perfect venue for live music and movies.

My first visit was last week to see Birds of Tokyo, Perth’s popular contemporary rock band. They played two concerts on 8 and 9 January to a packed house under the stars. It was fantastic end to my Christmas break.

My second visit was to Prison Cinema to watch my favourite prison movie ‘Shawshank Redemption’.

From 12 -24 January 2021, there is a pop-up outdoor cinema in the historical courtyard of Fremantle Prison.

New outdoor venues appear every year – they really suit our laid-back outdoor culture and great weather. Open-air cinema is over a hundred years old and was invented in the same decade as planes and cars.

I love outdoor movies nights. There is something very special about being outdoors on a warm summer night and watching a movie under a canopy of stars. Why not choose your favourite prison movie, pack a picnic, bring a fold up chair and settle in for a very different night at Fremantle’s newest pop-up cinema! Low chairs get the best spots at the front. Doors open at 6.30, so get there early to claim a good spot.

Whether it’s an escape story or a thought-provoking drama, there is something about prison movies that keep us coming back for more. A selection of prison-themed movies will show, with classics like the Shawshank Redemption, Con Air, The Great Escape, The Green Mile, The Rock and Escape from Alcatraz.

Check out dates and program on this website.

There is a fully licensed bar, as well as food trucks at the venue.

As the sun sets, relax and enjoy some live music before the movie starts.

You can also opt for a premium ticket with provided chair and premium position.

Prison tours are also on offer for an extra $19.90.

Fremantle prison has a dark history: from 1850 to 1991, nearly 10,000 convicts passed through the prison. At least 43 men and one woman were hanged in the Gallows Room.

Missy Higgins is playing two concerts in the courtyard in March.

It’s good that Fremantle Prison has a happy second life.