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28 October 2014
BBC Liverpool - Local History

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An invite to a night at the Empire...

An invite to a Royal Gala Performance
The Royal Gala Performance was in 1961.

During the first World War, a seat in the "gods" would have cost you a tanner (6d), and many big names played the venue, including Sarah Bernhardt and Henry Irving, and popular music hall stars of the day such as Vesta Tilley.

World War Two saw stars such as Liverpool’s own Arthur Askey. Audiences often stayed in the theatre during air raids to see the shows, and take advantage of a free pint of beer.

Empire Programme
The programme about the show costs 2d.

The Beatles performed at the Empire, famously in l965 at the height of their fame, following in the footsteps of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and many other internationally known stars.

During the 1970s, it was host to two Royal Command performances for the Queen and Prince Charles. Now, the Empire, the largest two tier theatre in the country, is home to a wide variety of entertainment, from opera to West End shows.

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