Liverpool Empire Theatre

The Liverpool Empire Theatre forms part of Liverpool’s Cultural Quarter,and is set to play an important role in 2008 when Liverpool will be European Capital of Culture.

In October 1866, The Prince of Wales Theatre and Opera House opened on Lime Street. It was lit by gas light and all the stage machinery was controlled by steam power. Famous names topping the bill during this era included Ellen Terry and Henry Irving, Marie Lloyd, Harry Lauder and Sarah Bernhardt.

In 1895, Moss Empires bought the theatre and had it refurbished by famous theatre architect Frank Matcham. Now known as the Empire Theatre, it reopened to produce variety shows and pantomimes. In the early 1900s the building was updated with the installation of electricity.

During the 1920s it was decided that the theatre wasn’t grand enough, so it was demolished and entirely rebuilt as a larger theatre – with the widest auditorium in Europe. Based on an American design, it was the most up-to-date theatre in the provinces, and the largest two-tier theatre in the country. The new Empire Theatre showed Revues and welcomed stars such as Ivor Novello and Dame Sybil Thorndike into the 1930s.

The theatre stayed open through the war years, despite air raids, and the locals were entertained by favourites such as Arthur Askey and Tommy Trinder – whose brother was the stage manager. 1950s audiences were delighted by stars such as Julie Andrews, Laurel and Hardy and Frankie Vaughn, while Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland were two of the Names from the ‘60s. In 1965 The Beatles performed to packed houses.

The theatre closed for five months in 1998 for phase one of a major refurbishment, including extending the stage by 20 feet to the rear so that it could easily accommodate every touring show in the country . In 2002, phase two of the redevelopment was completed, including the glass atrium and new box office. The total project cost some £11 million. The newly updated Empire can now regularly host top Shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Starlight Express and Disney musicals.

 
Liverpool Empire Theatre

Liverpool Empire Theatre

Lime Street
Liverpool
Merseyside
L1 1JE

Telephone: 0870 606 3536

 

Latest News

‘Oliver!’ stars go on to achieve MORE

Published: February 7th, 2019

Two cast members from our recent sell-out production of ‘Oliver!’ at Liverpool’s Royal Court theatre have gone on to achieve further theatrical success. 11 year old Harvey Jameson, who played one of Fagin’s Gang, has been cast in the role of Fleance (Son of Lord ...

Read More

Concert Party dates for your diary

Published: January 6th, 2019

Between the main shows and concerts, our Concert Party provides first-rate musical entertainment for a variety of events throughout the year, including fund-raising concerts for local charities, weddings and business hospitality. Our award winning company perform a diverse mix of solos and group numbers by ...

Read More

Spring Dolly, Christmas Carol!

Published: December 16th, 2018

We are thrilled to announce that our second major production of 2019 will be ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL ~ THE MUSICAL’. Following on from ‘Hello, Dolly!’ at the Empire Theatre in May, we are excited to be returning to Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre from 7th to ...

Read More

Keep up to date with our latest news

Enter your email address here:

 
 

© 2019 Birkenhead Operatic Society.
Alexander Hall, 24A Clifton Road, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 2SG
Charity No/259 306.

Royal Court Theatre
Gladstone  Theatre Port Sunlight
Floral Pavilion New Brighton
Liverpool Empire Theatre