The Grand Theatre, Islington High Street (1903)

(51.53275 -0.10619, 51.532 -0.106) 

The Grand Theatre, Islington High Street (1903)

The new Grand Theatre - the fourth theatre on the site - was opened on 26 December 1900 with a production of the pantomime 'Robinson Crusoe'.

The Huddersfield Daily reported the next day:

'Nearing the end of the first performance of 'Robinson Crusoe' at the Grand Theatre, Islington, on Wednesday, a fire broke out. From all parts of the house an alarm was raised. All present rose to their feet as large pieces of inflammable material were seen dropping from flies. The fire-proof curtain was promptly lowered, and the band struck up the National Anthem. The actors and actresses crowded into the stage boxes. Mr. Jones, playing 'Friday,' clambered on to the stage from the front and appealed to the audience not to rush for the doors as there was no danger. Then Mr. Charles Townley, the author, came forward explaining that the management, owing to the electric installations not being completed, had used gas batten, and one of the sky borders had unfortunately caught fire. The officials had shown their efficiency by the celerity with which the fire had been extinguished. This is the fourth fire that has occurred at this theatre, and Wednesday's was the first performance given since the building was gutted some few months back.'

Thankfully the fire was quickly put out and the performance continued, and the Theatre would go on to stage pantomime, drama, and variety productions until it was renamed the Islington Empire in 1908.

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