Great es­cape for Hou­dini’s old the­atre

Sunday Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHRIS RICHES

A VIC­TO­RIAN the­atre where es­capol­o­gist Harry Hou­dini played has been saved from ruin – af­ter it was bought for £1.

Burn­ley Em­pire The­atre opened in 1894 and its 1,900 seats were filled to see Hou­dini in 1902.

But for 23 years, af­ter last be­ing used as a bingo hall, the Grade II- listed the­atre has stood empty and faced be­ing auc­tioned.

Now it has been bought from the Duchy of Lan­caster by Burn­ley Em­pire The­atre Trust.

The trust’s So­phie Gib­son said: “The Em­pire now has a bright fu­ture.

“We urge any lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als or busi­nesses who want to sup­port the project to get in touch.

“To­gether we can make this a venue that the whole town can be proud of.”

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