Know your theatre:
The Empire is the largest two-tier theatre in the UK, seating up to 2,348.
The present building opened in 1925 on the site of The New Prince of Wales Theatre and Opera House (1866), which became The Empire in 1886 and was demolished for the construction of the present building in 1924.
Designed by W and T R Milburn, for then-leading UK theatre owners Moss Empires, the steel-framed building, behind its neoclassical stone facade, has played host to many of the biggest names in entertainment, from Frank Sinatra to Judy Garland, The Beatles, Morecambe and Wise and local legend Ken Dodd.
By 1977 Moss Empires was disposing of many of its venues and Merseyside County Council rescued it, subsequently making major improvements front of house and backstage.
During the 1970s two Royal Command Performances were held in the Empire and the theatre was the venue for the 2007 Royal Variety Performance –marking Liverpool's year as European City of Culture. The theatre is now owned by ATG and is one of the UK’s leading touring venues, for everything from musicals and opera to dance, comedy and drama.
CAUTION: until theatre resumes fully following the Covid restrictions, check with the theatre and book tickets and meals ahead before travelling
1 Lime St, Liverpool L1 1JE
General inquiries (stage door/admin): 0151 702 7320. Box office: 0333 009 6690 (box office opens 90 min before performances)
The theatre is large, though as usual for such venues, access is more limited and facilities a little less welcoming than in modern venues. The auditorium has several wheelchair spaces, with lift access to all levels except the rear circle (lift and steps). There are toilet facilities for disabled patrons and an induction loop necklace hearing system, and working dogs are welcome. The theatre has an associated bistro (0151 702 7320) or see menus here. More information here
Q Parks offers ATG customers 15 per cent discount on pre-booked parking for theatre visits. Book in advance here. Otherwise city centre parking can be difficult: the theatre is next to the busy Lime Street railway station.
Online box office:
Access the ATG/Liverpool Empire online box office after finding your show on this page.