Temperance Hall

Architect: Emerald Hill Total Abstinence Society, 1863

Inner South | IS05

Building Description

Temperance Hall was built in 1863 by the Emerald Hill Total Abstinence Society, one of the influential temperance movements that shaped social life in nineteenth-century Melbourne. In its early days, the hall was also used by a large number of social clubs, political parties and societies, and hosted alcohol-free concerts, dances and performances. Anthill Theatre made the space their home in the 1980s and from that point the building has had an association with the performing arts.

Since 2016 Temperance Hall has been home to leading Australian dance and interdisciplinary arts company Phillip Adams BalletLab and their performances, and hosts a curated program of ground-breaking contemporary performance and other arts events. The building comprises a main hall, two artist studios, offices and an apartment, and hosts activities including arts creation and rehearsals, residencies, exhibitions, performances, community events and private functions. While Temperance Hall has been lovingly restored, much of the building remains in its original condition, from the studio’s mosaic of layers of pastel colours showing through the cracked and fading paint work to the grand stained-glass window in the Main Hall.

What's On

In celebration of leading dance and interdisciplinary arts company Phillip Adams BalletLab’s 20th anniversary, visitors to Temperance Hall will be treated to a screening of video highlights of the company’s 20 years of performance works, including recent performances presented as part of Melbourne Festival (‘EVER,’ 2017) and Dance Massive (‘Glory,’ 2019).

On Saturday 27 July 2019 Emerald Hill and surrounds will light up for Open Doors Emerald Hill – the inaugural winter arts festival bringing together the best of arts and culture in South Melbourne.

Open Doors Emerald Hill brings together disability arts culture, visual arts, music, dance, literature, heritage architecture and Indigenous culture and performance in a one-day free event that’s accessible to all.

Coinciding with Open House Melbourne 2019, Open Doors Emerald Hill will take place over one action-packed day on Saturday 27 July, from 10 am until 8 pm. Find the full program and schedule here.


199 Napier Street, South Melbourne 3205, South Melbourne VIC

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