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Empire Theatre

Mitchell Library, Theatre Collection

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Keywords: Empire Palace, Empire Theatre, Gaiety Theatre, Moss Empires, music halls, theatres, variety

The Empire Theatre, also known as the Empire Palace, was designed by Frank Matcham for Moss Empires and built on the site of the former Gaiety Theatre at the corner of West Nile Street and Sauchiehall Street. It opened in 1897 with Vesta Tilley topping the bill and quickly established itself as Glasgow's leading variety theatre.

With a capacity of 1,676, extended in 1931 to 2,100, the Empire attracted famous names especially in the years following the Second World War when American stars performed to packed houses. Stars lured across the Atlantic included Frank Sinatra, Dorothy Lamour, Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Jack Benny and Danny Kaye.

The Empire closed in 1963.

Reference: Mitchell Library, Theatre Collection

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning



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