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IN THE NEWS

Westfield Stratford City East
Westfield Stratford City East Retail Theme

TOUR OF THE MONTH

Charles Dickens' London
Charles Dickens' London

ON THIS DAY IN LONDON

28th February 1975 41 killed in London Underground, as train speeds past final stop

28th February 1922 The Princess Mary, daughter of King George V was married to Viscount Lascelles in Westminster Abbey.go to related location

28th February 1918 Born today: Alfred Burke, London England, actor (Backfire)

28th February 1916 Henry James, US/British writer (Bostonians), dies in London at 72

28th February 1728 Georg F Handels opera Siroe, re di Persia, premieres in London

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
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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.
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