Hackney Empire Ltd

Borough wide

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In 2001, the Empire closed for a £17 million refurbishment project designed by Tim Ronalds Architects with Carr and Angier acting as theatre consultants.

It was reopened in 2004. The restoration included the addition of a 60-seat orchestra pit to make the Empire suitable for opera performance by companies such as English Touring Opera, the addition of a flytower with provision for counterweight flying and a reductin of the stage rake.

Among other new facilities were a studio theatre and educational and hospitality facilities, and greatly improved dressing rooms. Additionally the Marie Lloyd public house was incorporated into the new extension. In addition to Muldoon, the comedian Griff Rhys Jones led the restoration appeal, with a large donation coming from local businessman Sir Alan Sugar. It has produced an enormously successful and highly regarded panto since 1988.

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