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The Empire


Empire Palace of Varieties opened in 1898 and lasted 60 glorious, racy years, showing risqué comics, saucy ladies, mind-boggling magicians and rock 'n' roll stars, with huge billings including Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd.

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I remember Dad taking me to the Empire occasionally.

We sat up in the cheaper Gods of course.

He's call in Watmoughs sweet shop, and Dad would splash out on 2oz of Nuthalls Mintos! If I was lucky, I;d get one cut in half with his trusty penknife!


I always seemed to get sat behind a pillar, and spent most of my time standing up to see the acts.

Do you have any memories of this wonderful old place to share please?


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My memories are confused between the Theatre Royal and the Empire but I remember seeing Jewel and Warris, Nat Jackley, Gladys Morgan, Izzy Bonn, Julie Andrews in Red Riding Hood (Theatre Royal panto?), Ruby Murray and more whio escape memory. I wonder how much they would charge for entrance today!

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