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Description: The Empire
Date Listed: 22 December 1988
English Heritage Building ID: 164443
OS Grid Reference: TA3065508858
OS Grid Coordinates: 530655, 408858
Latitude/Longitude: 53.5601, -0.0289
TA 3008 NE CLEETHORPES ALEXANDRA ROAD
8/27 The Empire
Theatre, now amusement arcade. 1896, enlarged and refurbished 1900;
unsympathetic later C2O alterations. Red brick in Flemish bond with
sandstone ashlar dressings, colourwashed. Welsh slate roof. Timber
arcade, iron balcony. Rectangular on plan, with rear entrance to
Dolphin Street. Main front to Alexandra Road: 3 storeys, 7 bays;
symmetrical. Full length ground-floor pavement arcade (largely rebuilt
in C2O) carrying first-floor balcony. Plain wooden piers and basket
arches, plain Caa balcony railings. Ground floor front retains central
basket-arched chamfered entrance with alternating plan and moulded
ashlar voussoirs, foliate keystone; flanking sections remodelled cl97O.
Upper floors retain original details: projecting octagonal buttresses at
left and right angles and flanking central gabled bay, pilaster
buttresses between side bays. First floor: full-length windows with
C20 blocking or inserted glazing beneath original ornate ashlar lintels
with panelled friezes, foliate consoles and scrolled pediments. Flush
ashlar band at lintel level, with foliate relief panels to buttresses.
Raised moulded name plaque above central first-floor window. Second
floor: central round-headed window with delicate radial glazing bars,
moulded capitals, archivolt and fluted pedimented keystone flanked by
ashlar stringcourse. Side bays have windows with moulded sills,
moulded lintels with consoles and flat hoods; flush ashlar band at
lintel level, with foliate relief panels to buttresses. Moulded ashlar
stringcourse, dentilled brick frieze and moulded eaves cornice. The
octagonal buttresses at each end and flanking the central gable project
as short turrets with ornate onion domes and miniature cupolas with
finials. Central coped shaped gable has moulded slit light,
stringcourse and segmental pediment with shell moulding and ball finial.
Moulded brick-coped gables. Pair of axial stacks and pair of end
stacks with moulded stringcourses. Right return bears remains of
painted inscription "THE EMPIRE". Rear to Dolphin Street has 3 storey,
6-bay section with recessed outer bays flanking 2 central bays, 5
segmental-arched basement windows, door to right beneath segmental
arch, 4 second-floor sashes, hipped roof. Interior. Ground floor
largely stripped or obscured by later partitions: stage boarded-in.
Stairhall and gallery entrances have original staircases, basket-arched
openings on moulded capitals, plaster panelling to walls with Adam-style
plasterwork friezes and ornate moulded ceilings. Auditorium has full
gallery around 3 sides, the side ranges with arcades of square timber
columns with moulded arch braces to hammer beams carrying basket-arched
roof trusses and a boarded upper ceiling with ornate cast-iron
ventilator grilles. Ornate gilt carved wood and plasterwork proscenium
arch: fluted Composite pilasters, with tapered Ionic pilasters above,
flanking a wide basket arch with foliate and ribbed mouldings and
foliate spandrels beneath a moulded cornice. The lower section of the
stage arch removed or obscured at time of resurvey. Not fully
investigated. Built at a cost of dl4,5Da and opened in May 1896 as the
Alexandra Hall Theatre. Refurbished by M. Auguste Van Biene in 1900 to
become the Empire Theatre. Closed as a theatre in 1960. Formed part of
the well-established national seaside resorts entertainments
circuit, and still retains much of its early C20 character. M Hart,
Cleethorpes and the Meggies, 1981, pp 10, 41, 42.
Listing NGR: TA3065508858
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.