Research Links



Much of the written and drawn materials of the Frank Matcham architectural practice were lost in WWII. The Frank Matcham Society donated its small collection to the Theatres Trust, which is the national body for the protection of theatres old and new. This and other useful sources of archival material are listed below and some may remain in the hands of the theatre owners and private collectors. It is hoped that recent projects to improve the cataloguing of the architectural drawings at the London Metropolitan Archive and the Theatres Trust, in addition to the holdings at the V&A, will improve access to this cherished heritage.  The excellent Arthur Lloyd website reprints an interview with Frank Matcham which first appeared in the ERA stage magazine in October 1897.




Metropolitan Edgware Road (lost) Boxes Elevation drawing © Victoria & Albert Museum, London

The Theatres Trust
National Archive – guide to Performing Arts records held by other archives
Historic England Archive
Historic England Listed Buildings – Search the List
V&A Theatre and Performance Collections
University of Bristol Theatre Collection
Arthur Lloyd Music Hall & Theatre History
Archiveshub – UK theatre drawings list
Society for Theatre Research – British theatre history and technique with comprehensive book list
STR New Researcher’s Network – Research Resources
The Stage Archive
European Route of Historic Theatres – Theatre Architecture in Europe Database & Tours
London Metropolitan Archive
COLLAGE – The London Picture Archive
East London Theatre Archive (ELTA)
The Backstage Heritage Collection
London East End Memories
Wikipedia – Frank Matcham
The British Newspaper Archive
RIBA British Architectural Library Catalogue
RIBAPix Architectural Photos
Institute of Historical Research – University of London
Harvard College Library Theatre Archive
The Internet Archive
ArchDaily – modern theater projects
Modern Theatres 1950-2010 project
Before Shakespeare project & blog
London’s Elizabethan playhouses primer
Manchester Libraries & Archives theatre collection
Normansfield Theatre – Langdon Down Centre
Stephen Joseph Association



Thirty UK theatres are at risk as assessed by the Theatres Trust.
For more information, please see our Theatres at Risk page



TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association)
It’s Behind You (pantomime)
Theatricalia (performance database)
British Theatre Guide
V&A Theatre and Performance Collections
Arthur Lloyd Music Hall & Theatre History
The Stage Archive
Harvard College Library Theatre Archive
Adam Matthew : Victorian Popular Culture
Association of Performing Arts Collections (APAC)
British Music Hall Society
Before Shakespeare project & blog
Drama and Theater Resource Guide (Comprehensive Learning Guide for Students and Teachers)
Drama Notebook (online US teaching resource – monologues for kids and teenagers)
Overview of the History of Theatre (links to other resources including US academic study links)
Vic – Wells Association
Singing Resources in Theater
US website and blog with links to theatre costume, stage design and more.
London Theatre online guide to London’s theatres



Theatre models including many by Matcham
Spotlight – 40 Theatres on Broadway New York
Plaques on Frank Matcham buildings
Britannia Panopticon Pickard’s Papers Scrapbooks
Mark Sykes Theatre Photograph Collection
Flickr Bristol Hippodrome & Hackney Empire by Charles S P Jenkins
Flickr Opera Houses & Theatres by Ian Grundy
Carthalia – Theatres on Postcards
London’s Theatreland 1915 Eric Gill Map
Theatre Historical Society of America (THS)
Cinema Treasures
Cinema Theatre Association
Mike Hume’s Historic Theatre Photography



View the short video ‘Bombastic Rubbish – The Theatres of Frank Matcham’ by Angel Sharp Media about how his theatres became the places to see circus, comedy, song and dance, opera and drama.



Master of the House: Michael Coveney, A brand-new book that will chart Cameron Mackintosh’s efforts to refurbish and future-proof his eight West End venues. For release 1 October 2022: Amazon pre-order details here.

The Matcham Directory: Michael Sell, edited by Frances Birch, Frank Matcham Society 2020. Purchase direct from the Frank Matcham Society. Message us for details and how to order.

London Theatres: Michael Coveney with photos by Peter Dazeley, Frances Lincoln 2017 ISBN-13: 978-0711238619 Just published with foreword by Marl Rylance. The Spectator review is here.  The ABTT Sightline review by Rupert Rhymes is here.

The Theatres and Concert Halls of Fellner & Helmer: Michael Sell, Cambridge Media Group ISBN: 9781904031772 detailed study of the Austrian architect’s work across Europe.

Theaters: Craig Morrison, Norton/Library of Congress Visual Source Books series 2005 ISBN 978-0-393-73108-8 comprehensive richly illustrated history of theatres in the USA.

Charles John Phipps F.S.A. : Görel Garlick, Entertainment Technology Press 2016 ISBN 9781904031895 Biography of the prolific Victorian theatre architect, predecessor and influence on Frank Matcham.

Variety at Night is Good for You:  J O Blake, Badger Press 2016 ISBN 978-0-9526076-6-3 Just published with a foreword by our own John Earl. Read the review by theatre architect Tim Foster here.

Frank Matcham, Theatre Architect: Brian Walker, Blackstaff Press 1980 ISBN-10: 0856402311

Frank Matcham & Co: David Wilmore, Theatresearch 2008 ISBN-10: 0953412717

British Theatres and Music Halls: John Earl, Shire Publications Ltd ISBN-10: 0747806276

Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die: Amber Massie-Blomfield, Penned in the Margins ISBN 9781908058454


The impressive Arthur Lloyd Music Hall & Theatre History website maintains a list of recommended books about Frank Matcham and theatre history.

The Theatres Trust has a list of theatre books with which they are associated with.

A search of your preferred online source will find additional titles which include references to Matcham theatres in various context. Several Matcham designed theatres are pleased to promote his work for their theatre and produce a written history in book form, which may be purchased direct.