Welcome to our page covering everything you need to know about Liverpool’s Empire Theatre!
Empire Theatre, Liverpool
If you’re coming to Liverpool to see a theatre show live, you simply have to visit the Empire Theatre. Why? Because it’s a rich element in the city’s cultural heritage. Indeed, the Empire is on par with Liverpool’s two Cathedrals, two football stadiums and range of modern shopping complexes. Now, its origins go back to October 1866 with the opening of a theatre on the same site. But back then, it would be The New Prince Of Wales Theatre And Opera House. Furthermore, its very first show would be the opera production Faust. However, a demolition in 1924 would lead to the new, and current Empire Theatre, the following year. And under its new name, the Empire would become a platform for the who’s who of entertainment. Indeed, stars of all walks of life and nationalities would grace the famous Empire stage.
Now, if you do visit the Empire, a plaque showcases some of its most famous performers from down the years. The Empire would have a huge refurbishment in 1999 and a subsequent extension in 2002, providing the current and popular glass exterior. These changes would bring the Empire into the modern age. Now just shy of its 100th anniversary, the Empire Theatre is as important to Liverpool’s cultural identity as ever. Simply put, if you’re coming to Liverpool, you must sample a live show at the Empire Theatre. After all, it’s one of the most famous entertainment venues in the whole of the United Kingdom.
This theatre is amongst the national theatres under the ownership of parent company ATG (Ambassadors Theatre Group). Consequently, the Empire Theatre brings with it prestige and credibility. And as such, it plays host to the biggest theatre shows that come to Liverpool. These include huge touring musicals such as Jersey Boys, Blood Brothers and Dirty Dancing. But the venue also hosts spectacular one-off musical tribute shows, gigs and stand-up comedy events. Furthermore, the Empire often plays host to a Christmas pantomime that stands amongst the very best in the city.
Liverpool Empire covers a wide range of demographics. Now, the majority of its largest productions target adult audiences, ranging between 18-35 years of age and covering both genders. But there are also plenty of family shows with matinee performances catering to children of all ages. Additionally, there are a plethora of one-off productions, ranging from pre-school performances to adult-only live shows.
Empire Liverpool is the largest theatre in the city when it comes to capacity. So, it can seat over 2,000 attendees, with a complete capacity of 2,381. And more than a thousand of these are on the ground floor within the Stalls. So, the remaining seats form the Circles which look over the stage from high above the floor. Furthermore, the auditorium has a circular shape, meaning that side views have a very unique perspective of the stage.
The Empire itself includes four bars, one of those being the Piano Bar where you may spot some famous faces! There is disability access at the front and right-side of the venue, as well as lifts, hospitality and a cloakroom. Also, the theatre has a bistro for you to enjoy fine food and drink during the day. And its box office is open from 12.00-16.00 from Monday-Saturday. But it’s also open for ticket collections prior to and just after the beginning of a show. Additionally, there is the opportunity to pre-order interval snacks and beverages from your seat via an exclusive app.
Empire Theatre Liverpool sits on Lime Street, facing St. George’s Hall and other cultural landmarks on William Brown Street. Also, London Road is to the left of the theatre. And to the venue’s right is Lime Street Station, the biggest train station in Liverpool. Not forgetting the local pubs, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs nearby. Furthermore, the Empire is a short walk from the city centre, with a stroll lasting no more than five minutes.
Car Parking Near Empire Theatre
Liverpool Empire Theatre doesn’t have its own car park, but it is by to numerous major parking areas. So, the APCOA car park on the left side of Lime Street Station is the closest in terms of walking distance. Meanwhile, there is also a car park within the nearby St John’s Precinct Shopping Centre. And another car park near the venue is that which belongs to The Liner Hotel.
Again, Lime Street Station is just yards away from the Empire. This is handy for those requiring a train back home, or for those travelling from outside the city. Also, taxi ranks in front of and at the side of the theatre will assist those who need a cab home. And there are also bus stops very close by. Of these, one is in front of the station, and another is just across the road facing the Theatre itself. But if you want further options, Queens Square Bus Station is a short walk away. And here, you can catch any of the vast majority of major city buses that pass through there.
In 2016, Wetherspoon’s would open a branch (The North Western) within the Lime Street Station complex. So, due to its close proximity to the Empire, it’s the ideal stop-off for a pre-show meal. Additionally, on London Road, you will find several multicultural restaurants such as Lazeez Grill House, Kurdish Restaurant and Shiraz Palace.
At the back of the Empire, you can find Ma Egerton’s Stage Door. Now, this is a delightful old-school pub which is perfect for pre- and post-show drinks. But it also has its own live entertainment throughout the week, ranging from quizzes to karaoke sessions. Also, Paddy’s Bar is just across the street from the Theatre on London Road. And other nearby establishments include The Ship & Mitre, Yates and Dr. Duncan’s.
Liverpool’s Empire Theatre is a few hundred yards away from The Liner Hotel and also the vintage Lord Nelson Hotel. And if you walk across Lime Street station, you will also find the Adelphi Hotel. Now, the Adelphi is one of the more notable hotels in the city. Furthermore, within walking distance, you also have the Marriott Hotel across the road from St John’s Precinct shopping complex. And there are a variety of other hotels in the surrounding areas of the city centre. So, these include the DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel and the Hotel Ibis Styles.
Across the road from the theatre are major cultural landmarks including St. George’s Hall and Walker Art Gallery. Again, the Theatre is a short walk from St. John’s Precinct Shopping Centre. And on the subject of retail, London Road offers numerous shops, in particular the famous TJ Hughes department store. Furthermore, the Empire is only a ten-minute walk from the Anglican Cathedral, another major staple of the city.