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Tyne and Wear HER(4474): Sunderland, High Street West, Empire Theatre - Details

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4474


Sunderland


Sunderland, High Street West, Empire Theatre


Sunderland


NZ35NE


Recreational


Music, Speech and Dance Venue


Theatre


Modern


C20


Extant Building


The Empire Theatre, dating from 1907, by W & TR Milburn, incorporates a huge corner drum and cupola, and has a splendid original interior. LISTED GRADE 2. Originally called the Empire Palace and opened by Vesta Tilley, music hall entertainer and male impersonator. The 90 feet high tower featured a revolving sphere topped by a statue of Terpiscore, the muse of music and dance. The theatre closed in 1959. Sunderland Council bought it and reopened it in 1960 when the Beatles played during their first UK tour. On 26 April 1976 the 'Carry On' actor Sid James suffered a fatal heart attack on stage during 'The Mating Season'. The theatre is said to be haunted by the ghosts of Vesta Tilley and Molly Moselle, assistant manager to a touring company {Kirkup 2009}


3924


5704


NZ39245704



<< HER 4474 >> Dept. of National Heritage, of Buildings of Special ... Interest; Rob Kirkup, 2009, Ghostly Tyne and Wear, pages 92-95; Anderson, A. (1995) A century of Sunderland Cinemas, Sunderland: Black Cat Publications

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