The Hackney Empire is a theatre on Mare Street, in the London Borough of Hackney, built in 1901 as a music hall.HistoryHackney Empire is a grade II* listed building. The theatre was built as a music hall in 1901, designed by the architect Frank Matcham.Charlie Chaplin, WC Fields, Stanley Holloway, Stan Laurel and Marie Lloyd all performed there, when the Hackney Empire was a music hall.ATV bought the theatre to use as studios in the 1950s, and shows such as Take Your Pick and Oh, Boy! were broadcast live. Certain episodes of Opportunity Knocks were also filmed at the theatre. Some scenes from Emergency - Ward 10 were also filmed there. From 1963 to 1984 the theatre was used by the Mecca Organisation as a bingo hall.In 1984, Mecca found the building too expensive to maintain as a bingo hall, and it was offered to C.A.S.T, a satirical touring theatre group, headed by Claire and Roland Muldoon, as a London base. They also mounted successful variety nights headlined by a new breed of alternative comedy acts, such as Ben Elton, Dawn French, and Jennifer Saunders.To visit Hackney Empire and get the most from your holiday in London, create itinerary details personal to you using our London trip planner .
Hackney Empire Reviews
I love this theatre, I go here more often than any other theatre. It was nice to see the theatre full, too. Often I have been in the West End and the theatre isn't full, and the show isn't great. I've... more »
Visited here for the first time to see Spiritualizeds Acoustic Mainlines gig and all I can say is : wow! The whole venue shames any of the big name theatres in the West End with its decor, sightlines ... more »
Beautiful decorative plastered interior. Great venue for reasonably priced shows. Have seen a good many shows here for both children and adults. Only one drawback is the seating is not suitable for the long legged audience members. Staff are enthusiastic, approachable, friendly and informative. Nearest overground station is Hackney Central.
Beautiful theatre with amazing red & gold ceiling incorporating twinkling stars. This was my first visit. I remember there was a campaign some years ago to save the theatre & thank goodness that was achieved. I saw a brilliant performance of the opera Macbeth by the English Opera Touring Company & will definately hope to see other performances there.
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