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.


FMS Newsletter Winter 2020/21

Our Winter 2020 Newsletter has already been dispatched to members with a festive cover image of Douglas IoM Gaiety Theatre © Gaiety Theatre & Villa Marina Isle of Man. Inside are illustrated features on the Gaiety, theatres in Brighton and Southampton, plus a feature on the lost Granville in Fulham, thanks to our contributors including, Hammy Sparks, Giles Woodforde, Nick Humby and Terry Davis.


















The Matcham Journal 2021 has been dispatched to members. It includes a feature on the early years of London’s Empire Leicester Square by Elain Harwood of Historic England and the

Matcham Society Journal 2021

Twentieth Century Society, Simon Goldrick writes about restoring the Grand Opera House in Belfast, and Giles Woodforde reports on Philip Bernays and a Brace of Matchams. All are accompanied by many photographs and plan images, current and historical.













Members of the Frank Matcham Society received the soft cover first edition of the The Matcham Directory by VP Mike Sell, edited by Fran Birch and featuring a Foreword by our President Emeritus John Earl, with many rare images from VP David Wilmore and theatresearch. This replaced the 2020 annual Journal and is a member benefit to mark the centenary year of his death and a fortaste of the planned hard cover second edition already in preparation.

Copies are free to members of the Frank Matcham Society and available for purchase by non-members. Details on how to order are available by sending a message to the Society via the Contact page.











2021 Calendar

Just a few of our 2021 calendars still available at reduced price featuring some of the memorable theatres we visited in recent years in Italy, Sicily, France and Austria. For more details and ordering information see the Matcham 2021 Calendar Leaflet. Contact details on the leaflet for latest price.










Home page photos: Royal Hall Harrogate drawing – Royal Hall Preservation Trust : Theatre Royal Wakefield proscenium detail – Frank Matcham Society : Gaiety Douglas IoM stage machinery – Frank Matcham Society : Gaiety Douglas IoM upper auditorium – Frank Matcham Society : Full House at the O2 Empire Shepherds Bush – photo Daniel Gray



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