18 Oxford Street,
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Previously operated by: Moss Empires Ltd., Stoll Circuit
Architects: Walter Emden
A large building dominating the middle of Oxford Street, the Empire Theatre opened in 1900. It was the second Empire Theatre to be opened by Oswald Stoll, the first being the Empire Theatre, Cardiff.
Located immediately next door to the Carlton Cinema, the Empire Theatre screened films just after the war. It was closed in 1957 when Moss Empires Ltd. decided to down size their operation on the huge variety circuit around the UK. The Empire Theatre was demolished in 1960 and a Fine Fare supermarket was built on the site (in 2014 that building is a 99p store).
Swansea was then left with only one live theatre, the Grand Theatre. Talking to many Swansea residents who remember the Empire Theatre, they all tend to say that it was the Empire Theatre that Swansea should have kept as its main theatre. They also describe it as being very beautiful inside. It was the first public building in Swansea to be lit by electricity.
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Recent comments (view all 2 comments)
My late father used to go to Pantomimes at this theatre between the wars. They used to sing a song: “Why don’t they put a tail on a guinea pig?” Does anyone remember the words?