Thursday, 2 August 2012

Olympia Theatre, Liverpool

The Liverpool Olympia was built in 1905 For Moss Empires Ltd by architect Frank Matcham as a purpose built indoor circus and variety theatre. The theatre was a response to the enormous success of Thomas Barrasford's Royal Hippodrome Theatre (4000 capacity, built 1902, demolished 1984) which stood a very short distance away; the Olympia never managed to meet the success of the Hippodrome, and never managed a profit.

The auditorium is one of the largest in Liverpool; in its heyday it could accommodate 3750 people in the stalls and on 3 balconies. The unusual proscenium stage was at the same level as the stalls, with an orchestra riser against the back wall. The stage had a 15-metre (49 ft) wide Proscenium, was 12 metres (39 ft) deep, and had a height of 21 metres (69 ft).

The theatre was purchased by ABC theatre company, and converted into a Cinema in 1930. Read more on Wikpedia

Lowry refers to the theatre in his short story 'Enter One In Sumptuous Armour'; "The advertisments were now for the Liverpool theatres. At Olympia, Jack and The Beanstalk was still playing." (Pg. 234).

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