Frank Matcham was responsible for designing over 100 theatres. No two buildings were ever the same, but he developed a very personal style, with astonishing theatrical flair.
Although many were demolished during the 1950s and 1960s, the survivors are now much admired and many have been refurbished with the most modern technical and audience facilities, while retaining beautiful period details such as painted ceilings and decorative plaster work.

The Society was set up following the centenary of the Wakefield Theatre Royal in 1994.

Our members come from all over the U.K. and abroad.

We aim to:

  • visit and develop links with all the surviving Matcham theatres
  • encourage and carry out research into his life and work
  • visit theatres by other architects in the UK and abroad
  • appreciate great theatre architecture on our foreign visits
  • publish a regular Newsletter with news and details of visits
  • publish an annual Journal with more in-depth articles

Visit our JOIN us page and find out more.


Our Autumn 2018 Newsletter has already been dispatched to members with a cover featuring this year’s highly successful international visit to the wonderful city of Vienna, and a visit write-up on the inside pages along with plenty of photos for those unable to join us.

Also you will find illustrated features on the Old Theatre in Penzance by Marion Reed, the Islington Red Bull Playouse Plaque by Adam Harrison, and a piece by Görel Garlick ‘From Vitruvius to Matcham: Theatre architecture and the science of acoustics – a brief history’ along with letters, comment and forthcoming events.










Cover image: Kings Theatre Southsea – Tim Ronalds Architects

Our 2018 Journal, already sent to members, features fully illustrated articles on:

Burning Theatres – Terrified Patrons! by our President Emeritus John Earl, who has been active in building conservation since 1956 and working exclusively on historic theatres for the last thirty years;
Wakefield’s New Centre for Creativity by Murray Edwards, who was Executive Director of the Theatre Royal in Wakefield for nineteen years;
Interview with the Architect: Tim Ronalds with our own Giles Woodforde, arts feature writer and reviewer.

Our Journal for 2019 is in preparation.


Copies are free to members of the Frank Matcham Society
and available for purchase by non-members by sending a message to the Membership Secretary via the Contact form.









Home page photos: Royal Hall Harrogate drawing – Royal Hall Preservation Trust : Frank Matcham – Theatres Trust : Kings Southsea full house – Kings Theatre : Theatre Royal Wakefield proscenium – Frank Matcham Society : Gaiety Douglas IoM stage machinery – Frank Matcham Society : Gaiety Douglas IoM upper auditorium – Frank Matcham Society



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