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IN THE NEWS

Westfield Stratford City East
Westfield Stratford City East Retail Theme

TOUR OF THE MONTH

American Tour of London
American Tour of London

ON THIS DAY IN LONDON

24th May 1981 Dixon of Dock Green actor Jack Warner died in London aged 85.

24th May 1953 Born today: Alfred Molina, London, actor (Enchanted April, Prick up your Ears)

24th May 1908 John Masefields Tragedy of Nan, premieres in London

24th May 1899 The state apartments at Kensington Palace opened to the public for the first time.

24th May 1890 Tivoli Theater of Varities opens in London

24th May 1879 James Walker's original Vauxhall toll bridge was opened up for free by the Prince of Wales.

24th May 1819 Queen Victoria is born at Kensington Palace.go to related location

Finsbury Park Empire



Finsbury Park Empire

The first ever sawing of a woman in half was performed here.

Location: St Thomas/Prah Road, Finsbury Park, London

Description: The Finsbury Park Empire was built by Frank Matcham for Moss Empires Ltd at a cost of 45,000 and opened on the 5th of September 1910 with a capacity of around 2000. The Theatre closed on the 7th of May 1960 and was demolished in 1965.

It saw many top showbiz acts of the time like Max Miller and Arthur Askey, but is renowned for being the first theatre where the saw-the-woman-in-half magic act was performed.

It was performed by PT Selbit on January 17th 1921 causing an immediate sensation, reviews called it a 'bloodthirsty ... hair raising' spectacle. Selbit responded with several publicity stunts such as ambulances parked outside the theatre. Between performances stage hands would take buckets of red liquid through the audience and pour into the gutter outside.

The act shut an attractive woman in a wooden box, with ropes holding her down, and cut the box in two. The audience loved it. Magicians everywhere rushed to make their own, bloodier versions.

Tagged in this Tour: Historic Magic Circle Tour

Themes: TheatreTheatre Theme  ComedyComedy Theme
Ranking This Month: 299/2799
Pages Hit This Month: 69
Link to This Page: http://www.shadyoldlady.com/location/787
Credits: http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk

Finsbury Park Empire

The first ever sawing of a woman in half was performed here.


The Shady Old Lady points out that you can drag this map using mouse. Or visit our full massive map.


The Finsbury Park Empire also played a leading role in the 1961 Cliff Richard film The Young Ones, when a group of youth club kids put on a show in a dis-used theatre, which it was at the time. (Mike Twigg)
Posted by Mike Twigg on 2009-10-28
I lived opposite Finsbury Park Empire in 1960s when it had just closed and a Cliff Richard film had recently been made there. I never had a photoghraph taken of the old Empire and wondered if there is one anywhere to be viewed (John)
Posted by John on 2007-12-28
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THE SHADY OLD LADY RECOMMENDS...

Egyptian HallEgyptian Hall
The magical museum and Egyptian Hall used to be here.
0000-00-00

Other places nearby...

The Savoy Theatre», 3.7km

Rudolf Steiner Hall», 3.5km

The Globe Theatre», 3.8km

Scene of the Flying Man!», 4.8km

Fortune Street Park», 2.8km

The Players' Theatre», 3.6km

A Puppet Barge not to be missed», 4.4km

The Ambassadors Theatre», 3.6km

Lupino Lane lived here», 4.0km

Derek Jacobi lived here», 4.5km