Theatre renamed after Beatles manager Brian Epstein

Epstein Theatre
Image caption The theatre has had a £1m revamp

A revamped Liverpool theatre has been renamed in honour of the former Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

Liverpool City Council is looking for new owners for the Epstein Theatre - formerly the Neptune Theatre - after a £1m refurbishment.

"It is a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to one of our greatest sons," said Councillor Joe Anderson, leader of Liverpool City Council.

The Grade II listed building was closed for safety reasons in 2005.

The city council met £750,000 of the £1m cost of revamping the theatre, with £250,000 coming from the theatre's landlord, Hanover Estate Management Ltd.

Restoring it has been a personal dream for Mr Anderson, who said: "We want it to be a theatre not just for entertainment but for use by the community.

''I'm delighted Brian's family accepted our request to rename this venue the Epstein Theatre."

He added: "It has been brought back to life."

Image caption Epstein died at the height of the Beatles' success

An Epstein family spokesman said: "It's a wonderful homage to Brian.

"He loved the theatre and knew this one well.

"Just above Crane's Music Shop and only a few minutes walk from N.E.M.S (North End Music Stores) - the family business in Great Charlotte Street - Brian, along with his brother Clive and parents Queenie and Harry, would often catch a performance."

The Neptune Theatre opened in 1913 as Crane's Music Hall and was taken over by the council in 1967, the year of Epstein's death.

He took an accidental overdose of sleeping pills at the height of the Beatles' success. He was 32 years old.

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