Opened 1903 as Empire Palace of Varieties, on site of the earlier People’s Palace of 1893.
Symmetrical, largely original, in eclectic and rather uncertain style, with ornamental surrounds to windows in terra cotta. All that is known of the original building is that it had two balconies and boxes and great attention was paid in the original design to fire precautions and exits for speedy evacuation in the event of fire.
In 1930s the auditorium was remodelled for cinema use with one deep balcony; the boxes were removed. The splendid ceiling dome, originally for the sunburner, decorated in fibrous plaster with garlands and musical instruments, however, remains as a reminder of the once lavish interior. The wide proscenium dates from 1956.
The stage with fly tower remains. Current plans are to extend the stage area into the defunct dressing room area, perhaps extending the back wall, to give extra space for bingo, and possibly to insert a second balcony for additional accommodation.
- Owner/Management: Barrasford, Sley & Willmot, owners
- Owner/Management: Mecca
- Owner/Management: Currently: Independent owner M Pilkington (St Helens family!)
- 1903 Design/Construction:J A Barron (St Helens)- Architect
- 1903 Design/Construction:McNelly (St Helens)- Consultantpainting leadlightworkBrockfield Foundry Co (St Helens)- Consultantiron workStoft & Co (Manchester)- ConsultantsunburnerBispham Hall Terracotta (Orrell)- ConsultantterracottaWithnall Brick Co (Accrington)- ConsultantbricksJ Mans (Liverpool)- Consultantpainting sceneryCraven Dunhill Tiling Co (Jackfield Sallop)- Consultantmosaic and tilingThomson & Co (Liverpool)- ConsultantseatsJohnson & Sons (Liverpool)- Consultantfibrous plasterAlex White & Son (Liverpool & Birkenhead)- Consultantdecoration
- 1913 Alteration: unspecified alterationsUnknown- Architect
- 1930 - 1939 Alteration: auditorium remodelledUnknown- Architect
- 1956 Alteration: proscenium widened to accommodate cinemascopeUnknown- Architect
- 1968 Alteration: converted to bingoGormall & Wainwright (St Helens)- Architect
- CapacityLaterDescription1912: 2300
- ListingNot listed