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The Hackney Empire

A Grade II* Listed Building in Hackney, London

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Latitude: 51.5455 / 51°32'43"N

Longitude: -0.0558 / 0°3'20"W

OS Eastings: 534911

OS Northings: 184748

OS Grid: TQ349847

Mapcode National: GBR J7.8MB

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.ZFC2

Plus Code: 9C3XGWWV+6M

Entry Name: The Hackney Empire

Listing Date: 28 June 1972

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1226960

English Heritage Legacy ID: 424483

Also known as: Hackney Empire Theatre
Hackney Empire Theatre of Varieties

ID on this website: 101226960

Location: Hackney, London, E8

County: London

District: Hackney

Electoral Ward/Division: Hackney Central

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Hackney

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St John at Hackney

Church of England Diocese: London

Tagged with: Theatre

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TQ 3484 25/379
(west side)
No 291 (The Hackney
Empire Theatre)



Variety theatre. 1901, by Frank Matcham for Oswald Stoll's "Empire" circuit.
Red brick with buff terracota dressings. Victorian Baroque style. 2-storey,
3-bay front. Half-glazed entrance doors set in square-headed architraves
with engaged columns framing centre bay and mannerist piers to outer bays.
Central first-floor bay has a pair of semi-circular arched windows set in
recess framed by 4-centred mannerist arch with scrolled ends set on squat,
bulbous Ionic columns and with balustrade to front; pilasters rise from arch
to blank balustraded parapet; wreath and musical trophies to tympanum of
swan-necked open pediment surmounted by female figure. Slightly-projecting
outer bays each have semi-circular arched openings with decorative head over
a pair of circular and vertical windows; each outer bay is surmounted by
extraordinary twin domes set on octagonal drums; lower drums have tall slit
openings, and upper domes are formed of circular balustrades with scrolled
brackets to Flambeaux. Other elevations are treated more simply with classical
terracotta dressings. Interior: in flamboyant Rococo Baroque style. Mosaic
floor and decorative plaster frieze to porch. Foyer of 3 x 3 bays has marbled
wood piers and walls, wreathed cornice and large quatrefoil panel to coffered
ceiling; painted panels of cherubs and composers set in oval frames hung
with festoons; decorative tile dados to passages leading to stalls. Marbled
balustrades to 2 flights of stairs continued to upper foyer which has painted
panels set in elaborate plaster ceiling; 3-bay semi-circular arched arcades
to front (mirror flanked by doorways to stairs) to rear (framing stained-glass
windows set in wood frames) and to side bays which have Rococo ceilings and
Art Nouveau plaster friezes. Fine auditorium; painted panels set in Rococo
frames above proscenium arch which is flanked by winged cherubs holding urns
and by onion domes set in curved recesses. 3-tiered auditorium with elaborate
Rococo plasterwork to front of cantilevered balconies, which have decorative
plasterwork beneath. 3-bay arcades flank proscenium to second floor, with
fluted Ionic piers separating tall central arch flanked by painted panels
above lower flanking arched with turned balusters to arcaded balcony fronts;
first-floor boxes framed by console brackets and decorative plaster friezes,
with semi-circular arched exit doors flanking proscenium. Decorative plaster
frieze and coved cornice with shell niches to panelled plaster ceiling.
Noted as one of the most exuberant Matcham interiors in Britain.
(B M Walker (ed), Frank Matcham. Theatre Architect, 1980).

Listing NGR: TQ3491184748

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