About the Hackney Empire
Hackney Empire is a stunning 20th-century music hall, but on stage it delivers a fantastic programme of 21st-century entertainment. From music hall to bingo hall and now to a major entertainment hub, this is one theatre that is well worth visiting off the West End’s beaten track.
Prolific Victorian and Edwardian theatre architect Frank Matcham designed Hackney Empire and it opened in 1901. With its distinctive terracotta exterior and grand interior, this Grade II listed venue is just as impressive as any of its central London counterparts.
Over the 20th century, the Empire has gone through a number of transformations, and in the 1980s it was even up for demolition! Thanks to the dedicated work of C.A.S.T. (Cartoon Archetypical Slogan Theatre), it was saved and went on to become a home for alternative comedy in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
The theatre underwent a multi-million-pound refurbishment from 2001-2004, partly funded by local boy Lord Sugar, but its original period features that make it so unique are still standing proud.
Hackney Empire now welcomes a variety of comedy and theatre shows each year, including an acclaimed pantomime.