The Hammersmith Palais de Danse, later simply the Hammersmith Palais, was a ballroom and entertainment venue in London from 1919 to 2007. In 2009 the Hammersmith Palais was named by the Brecon Jazz Festival as one of 12 venues which had made the most important contributions to jazz music in the United Kingdom.
The Palais de Danse opened in 1919 to host ballroom dancing, and various kinds of dance bands, amongst which were the new jazz bands. It remained a popular dance venue from its start to the 1980s, but after that played host mostly to live pop music.
The Palais was named in the The Clash song "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais". Joe Strummer managed to get thrown out one Thursday afternoon for gaining entry without permission. It was also named in the Ian Dury and the Blockheads song "Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part 3". Bands such as PiL, The Cramps, and Soft Cell (who played their "farewell" there in 1984) made the venue a popular for London gig-goers. It hosted The Cure, Hanoi Rocks, David Bowie, Kylie Minogue, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Police, Robert Plant & The Strange Sensation, U2 and Sex Pistols.
More recently, the Palais staged a mix of live music gigs, dance nights and private events. The Palais used to host the popular SchoolDisco club night, which has since moved to the London Forum inKentish Town. In addition to this, the Palais was frequently used by the Students' Union at Imperial College School of Medicine as a venue for numerous student nights.
In its last years the Palais was owned by Barclub Ltd, which also controls the Po Na Na chain of themed bars. The company briefly renamed the club Po Na Na Hammersmith in the early 2000s. In an acknowledgement of the venue's historic reputation, the original Hammersmith Palais name was reinstated. The Palais closed in April 2007, with Kasabian, Idlewild and Jamie T among artists playing the last ever gigs there. The final gig was a performance by The Fall on 1 April 2007, later to be released as the live album Last Night at The Palais.
BBC television made a documentary Last Man at the Palais on the history of the Hammersmith Palais. With a fellow professional, Lyndon Wainwright danced the Last Waltz at the Palais to conclude the presentation. It was first screened on BBC4, Christmas Eve 2007.