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Visited on a freezing cold snowy Sunday morning with Scrappy NW and Katy. Long overdue visit this one but access isn't always possible. Inside its dark and decrepit yet enough remains to get an idea of how it looked when it was in full flow. The stage area was a no go as it has now collapsed. Structuraly it was fairly sound even in the upper areas. Things were made to last in 1894 obviously.

Theatres have so much history and are always wonderful places to explore and photograph even if  their condition is so poor. On with some history.

 

I'm sure you have all read the history of this pace in other reports but i'll put a brief summary here:

 

The Burnley Empire Theatre has a profoundly poignant history that starts in the 19th Century when it was first designed by GB Rawcliffe in 1894. Owned and managed by WC Horner, it was a theatre of high regard and continued to such following works in 1911, when the auditorium was redesigned by Bertie Crewe, well respected architect, much of whose work is no longer standing – pulled down to make way for housing, shops or other amenities, or victims of the war that destroyed so many beautiful buildings.

The interior boasts ‘two slightly curved wide and deep balconies, terminating in superimposed stage boxes framed between massive Corinthian columns supporting a deep cornice. Segmental-arched proscenium, with richly decorated spandrels and heraldic cartouche. Side walls feature plaster panels, pilasters and drops. Flat, panelled ceiling with circular centre panel and central sun burner. Restrained heraldic and Greek plasterwork on balcony and box fronts’ .

The Theatre opened on Monday the 29th of October 1894 with a variety show and could originally seat 1,935 people.

During its time as a theatrical venue, Charlie Chaplin, Margot Fonteyn and Gracie Fields are just a few of the names to have appeared on the now broken stage.

 

In 1938 The Theatre was converted for cinema use by the Architects Lewis and Company of Liverpool, and the seating capacity was reduced to 1,808 in the process.

Like so many other Theatres around the Country the Empire was eventually converted for Bingo use in 1970 but even this ceased in 1995 and the Theatre, despite being a Grade II Listed building, has been empty ever since and is in serious decline, and listed as one of the Theatres Trust's buildings at risk.

 

On with the pics :D

 

 

 

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Thats a really nice collection of photos there. :thumb

It was only a matter of time when the stage would finally collapse that was mega sketchy when I was last there :50_open_mouth:

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9 hours ago, jones-y-gog said:

Thats a really nice collection of photos there. :thumb

It was only a matter of time when the stage would finally collapse that was mega sketchy when I was last there :50_open_mouth:

Thanks bud. Yes it's really buggered now sadly so no shots from it. Rest is ok considering. 

8 hours ago, Andy said:

Really nice place & photos! 

Cheers Andy, get yourself over there ?

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On 27/03/2018 at 4:55 PM, Dubbed Navigator said:

This is great, what a cracker of a building. Why they would fuck the top up by converting it I dont know.

 

Probably the best I have seen from you, top job.

 

:comp:

Cheers bud, doubt it'll ever get converted though, too expensive. Will be bulldozed and replaced with a pound shop more likely. 

5 hours ago, Wherever I may Roam said:

Am really surprised them upper floors are still  there and not collapsed yet as when I was last they were looking dodgy as fuck!!!

 

Nice pics... :cool:

Too be honest, the upper floors were ok, I've seen a lot worse like The Eccles one, that will collapse at any point! 

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Thats really quite special, places like this always are and your pics have really done the place justice :thumb I love the old bingo shelves, the architecture around the private boxes and the little bingo member request. Really nice colection of pics :)

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