Empire Theatre and Edinburgh University Old
Reproduced with acknowledgement to Chris Douglas, Manager of The Orchard
Bar, Howard Place, Canonmills, Edinburgh
who found these photos, and to Allan Dodds, Nottingham,
Nottinghamshire, England for telling me about them..
Festival Theatre and Edinburgh University Old
Copyright: Peter Stubbs - please contact
Photo taken May 31, 2011
Thank you to Chris
, Manager of The
Orchard Bar, formerly Northern Bar, Canonmills,
Edinburgh, for allowing me to reproduce this photo and other old
photos of Edinburgh. Chris recently found these photos in
the basement of The Orchard Bar.
This view looks to the north down
Nicolson Street towards South Bridge. The large dome,
centre-right, is on Edinburgh University Old College.
The smaller dome on the left is above
the entrance to the Empire Palace Theatre that opened in 1892.
There was a major fire on the stage in 1911 during a
performance by the illusionist, 'The Great Lafayette'.
All 3,000 members of the audience
escaped to safety, but Lafayette, his double and eight others died
in the fire. The stage was rebuilt in three months and
the theatre opened again.
The Empire was reconstructed in 1928,
but it appears to have a different dome in this photograph of the
It showed variety acts, musicals and
operas until 1963 when it became a bingo hall but continued to put
on occasional shows during the Edinburgh Festival.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre was built
on the site of the old Empire Theatre in 1994.
Thank you to the
Festival City Theatres Trust web site for providing a history
of The Empire Theatre, and Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, from which
the brief facts above were taken.
Many of the buildings
in the early-1900s photo can be easily recognised in the 2011
However, the old
Empire Theatre, on the left of the photo with its small dome
above the entrance has been replaced by the new glass-fronted
Festival Theatre, set a little further back from the road.