Signs of hope for reopening of Liverpool Epstein Theatre


Epstein Theatre, Liverpool – could reopen
Epstein Theatre, Liverpool – could reopen

Plans to reopen the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool could become more likely tomorrow (July 30) if Liverpool City Council Cabinet votes to pay over £685,000 to settle the bill for the theatre's closure and administration. The venue closed amid the Covid-19 pandemic after suffering financial difficulties for several years – including the theft of over £270,000 by an employee. Administrators continued to hope a new buyer could be found, identifying a new player – Epstein Entertainments Ltd (EEL) a partnership of Regal Entertainments, which recently bought the St Helen’s Theatre, and Liverpool producer Bill Elms. The pandemic killed the deal, forcing administrators to close and refund all tickets sold. ETL staff have been made redundant, but a report to the council cabinet tomorrow says EEL is still interested in running the theatre from the autumn, when pandemic restrictions will play a far less important role. The council is now being asked to pay the almost £700,000 owed the administrators – an amount artificially boosted when an attempt to transfer the theatre lease during the administration process resulted in threats of legal action and increased administration costs.