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Empire Theatre, Briggate


Empire Theatre, Briggate
Description:
February 1961 On the left is the Empire Theatre designed by London Architect Frank Matchem opened on 29th August 1898. A popular music hall of the stoll moss variety, the Empire Theatre was closed on the 25th February 1961 and demolished in January 1962 to become the Empire Arcade and then the site of Harvey Nichols first store outside London. Advertised are a 2pm and 7pm showing of 'Emile Littler's 18th All Star Leeds Laughter pantomine Babes in the Wood.' With Nat Jackley , Ian Wallace, Allan Bruce, Brian Burdon and Margaret Freer. On the right is the Readicut Wool Co Ltd, the Knitting & Rug Wool Specialists'. In the foreground are some 1950s style cars.

User Comments:

Name:
Barbara Oehm

Comment:
I remember being taken to the pantomime several times when I was a child (1940's) There was a group of little girl tap dancers called "The Sunbeams" and we children considered the panto an epecially good one, if they were included. Also "The flying Ballet" where the artists "flew out" on wires over the top of the audience. The Dame was always a man, the principal boy was always a girl (had to have good legs!) On one occasion when I was around three years old, the dame wanted a child from the audience to "help" him (her?) sing "Hey little Hen". I was chosen and had to stand up in my seat and sing. I can remember it vividly. Live theatre is not as good today. Great photo, such happy memories.

Email:
barbcarl@hinet.net.au

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Name:
P. Eastwood

Comment:
Made my dancing "debut" at this theatre (1950's), then a pupil of Mrs. Lillyman's dance school. A beautiful theatre!

Email:
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Name:
Margaret Barker

Comment:
My parents took me to a pantomine every year. The Empire being one of three. If I remember rightly, there was the Grand and the Royal. But look at THAT - The Readicut wool shop next door. You could make a lovely rug for in front of your fire in those days.

Date:
08-Nov-2009

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
George Southern

Comment:
I accompanied my mother almost every week to the first evening showing at the Empire. This was during the late twenties-early thirties when the top of the bill was always the big bands. We queued in the side street at the entrance for the upper circle (known as 'the gods') Entertaining the waiting crowd were two buskers, one playing a piano accordion whilst looking out for any police at either end of the street as his mate carried on tap-dancing. He then went round with his hat. I saw most of the big bands, Joe Loss, Harry Roy, Ambrose, Roy Fox, Geraldo, Jack Payne, Billy Cotton, Lew Stone and Nat Gonella. Supporting artists were Leslie Hutchinson (Hutch), Charley Kunz, Turner Layton, Teddy Brown, Will Fyffe, Rob Wilton, Florrie Forde, Norman Evans among many others. I have loved big band music ever since since>

Date:
09-Sep-2013

Email:
g.southern828@btinternet.com

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Name:
Elaine Foy(Nee Holdsworth)

Comment:
I remember going to see the Black & White Minstrels. It was for my school friend,Pamela's birthday then we went to Lee's Chinese Restaurant at the back of Vicar Lane bus station. I left Green Lane School in 1965 so it would most likely be just before it closed down. school in 1965

Date:
15-May-2016

Email:
elainefoy@talktalk.net

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