The Empire Theatre, Wakefield Road, Dewsbury was built in 1909 and opened with a variety show on the 2nd of August the same year. The Theatre was designed by the architects Chadwick and Watson who also designed the Alhambra, Bradford.
Right – The opening night variety programme for the Dewsbury Empire on the 2nd of August 1909 – Courtesy David Clegg. – On the Bill were the Tom Davis Trio, Lenton & Lane, Robb Wilton, Queenie May, the Cavallotti Brothers, the Wedburns, Howard & St. Clair, Alisa Douglas, the Martelloni Family, Marcus Boyle, and Animated Pictures of the Latest Events.
The Theatre’s auditorium was on three levels, Stalls and two Circles and was noted for having good sight-lines because the circles were carried on two huge beams rather than pillars. Because of their size the beams took much manoeuvring through the streets of Dewsbury in order to get them to the site of the Theatre when it was being constructed and were considered very advanced at the time of its building.