MAY 2017

Hackney Empire, perhaps the most famous of the surviving Matcham theatres, unveiled a Walk of Fame on Thursday 25th May. Since this venue has seen most of the famous names in entertainment during its incredible history, it was bound to be a memorable event; and so it turned out. The Frank Matcham Society’s Vice President Mike Sell and Chairman Mark Fox  were there to represent us and reveal the plaque for the architect of the theatre Frank Matcham.

The theatre was built in 1901 and is one of the most perfect examples of his work.  It went on to other uses before a thorough restoration and re-working of the interior and exterior by architect Tim Ronalds in 2004, which returned it to theatrical use…so lots to celebrate.  The other commemorations on the day were for the original owner Oswald Stoll and Dame Barbara Windsor drew the gold and red velvet curtain to reveal her plaque; highly appropriate as she grew up nearby and has trod the Empire’s stage: photo David Reed.






We visited Bristol in late May for the Annual General Meeting and associated theatre events. It included the renowned Bristol University Theatre Collection, Frank Matcham’s Hippodrome, always good to see, Bristol Old Vic following its recent restoration, and Colston Hall which previously housed the Bristol Little Theatre, still existing in the space now called the Lantern alongside the later concert hall building.  Members unable to attend can read about it in the next Newsletter..



A visit to the theatres in the Eastbourne area is scheduled for mid September, and those in Guildford in early October; details with the next members Newsletter.  Amongst other visits also in the planning stage is a London walk led by our own Mark Fox for later in the year and the new Tim Ronalds designed home for Grange Park Opera at West Horsley Place when they can take us – expect more details here when available.

New Wimbledon Theater will host us for a tour in mid December with the option of a ticket for the panto matinee.  Details will be sent to members with the Newsletter.