Empire Theatre

Destination Sunderland > Entertainment > Empire Theatre

The Empire Theatre is a splendid example of Edwardian theatre architecture.  It offers top entertainment with a choice of the biggest stars and prestigious touring companies, for a sparkling night out.  The theatre was opened in 1907 by Vesta Tilley, known as the heart throb of the music halls.  It now provides a wide range of drama, comedy, opera , ballet, one night shows, spectaculars, and one of the finest pantomimes in the country.

Following a £4.5million refurbishment in 2005, the Empire now boasts 21st Century facilities and is the only theatre between Manchester and Edinburgh capable of staging large West End productions.

The venue has a capacity of 2,000 over 4 levels.

Orchester stalls: 833 Seats. Situated on ground level, fully accessible to all patrons. Seats at the front and edges of this area have restricted view due to the overhang of seats above. Surtitles and any part of the show that is elevated may not be seen from row O back over.


Dress Circle: 409 Seats. Situated on the first floor, accessed via the stairs or by lift. Seats along the side of the theatre in the front row are restricted view. Row A has slightly restricted legroom.

Upper Circle: 396 Seats. Situated on the second floor, accessed by stairs. Tiered seating area offering excellent views over the stage. This area is quite high and may not be suitable for anyone with vertigo or mobility problems. Seats toward the ends of the rows can be restricted viewing. There are also some restricted view seats toward the back of this area. Row A is considered restricted legroom and slightly restricted view.

Gallery: 218 Seats. Situated on the top floor of the theatre. Tiered seating and very high up. There are safety bars in all rows that create only very slight hindrance to viewing. The gallery is considered unsuitable for anyone with mobility problems or vertigo.

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