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 Winter 2021 Newsletter has already been dispatched to members with a cover image of The Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Inside is a piece by Terry Davis about the Sheena Doran Collection which relates to Matcham’s His Majesty’s theatre in Aberdeen, and illustrated book reviews and features by Mark Fox on Aladdin at the Theatre Royal Bolton, the London Hippodrome, Stage Door Days by Adam Harrison, Ted Bottle writes about the Edinburgh Empire fire, and Mike Sell adds to our knowledge of Frank Matcham’s architecture practice, plus dates for our diaries and more…with thanks to our Newsletter Editor, Fran Birch.










The Matcham Journal 2021 included 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.













Previously 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 was 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.












Frank Matcham Society 2022 Calendar

Our 2022 calendar is still available. It features 12 full page colour images, including theatre plans and cross sections by Matcham & Co accompanied by some of Frank Matcham’s own water colours from his travels, courtesy of the Matcham family. For more details and ordering information message us via our Contact page..












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


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