Empire Theatre

Wakefield Old Road,
Dewsbury, WF12 8DJ

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Empire Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the centre of the Yorkshire town of Dewsbury, opposite the Town Hall. The Empire Palace Theatre was opened on 2nd August 1909 with a variety programme, which included the the latest animated pictures. Seating was provided in orchestra stalls, and cantilevered dress circle and balcony levels. The stage was 30 feet deep and there were eight dressing rooms. The Empire Theatre was independently operated throughout its life.

By 1934 it had been equipped with Western Electric sound system for talkies, but it remained a variety theatre, with occasional films, possibly on a Sunday, when live performances were prohibited. The annual Christmas pantomime was very popular and had a run from Christmas Eve until the middle of March each year.

The Empire Theatre was closed in April 1955 after a week of performances by the Dewsbury Operatic Society. It was demolished in the early-1960’s, and an office block known as Empire House was built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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