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Dublin's Olympia Theatre ponders name change

The Olympia Theatre in Dublin could be in for a name change. A planning application for new signa...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.31 14 Dec 2020


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Dublin's Olympia Theatre ponde...

Dublin's Olympia Theatre ponders name change

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.31 14 Dec 2020


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The Olympia Theatre in Dublin could be in for a name change.

A planning application for new signage submitted by the owners suggests a sponsor's name is to be included in the title.

The iconic theatre on Dame Street first opened on December 22nd 1879 as 'Dan Lowrey's Star of Erin Music Hall', designed by well-known architect John J Callaghan.

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It was subsequently re-branded as 'Dan Lowrey's Music Hall' in 1881, and again re-branded as 'Dan Lowrey's Palace of Varieties' in 1889.

The building had a more significant makeover in 1897, closing as a music hall and re-opening as 'The Empire Palace' theatre.

This name survived through the Great War, the Easter Rising and the dissolution of the large Moss-Stoll theatre empire, as the entertainment industry changed significantly.

In 1923, the venue had yet another re-invention - this time emerging as 'The Olympia Theatre'.

Over its formative years many world famous names in the theatre and film world have appeared on its stage.

These include Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Harry Lauder, Tyrone Power, Noel Coward, Alec Guinness, John Gielgud, Edith Evans and Marcel Marceau.

The theatre underwent another major facelift between 2015 and 2016.

Comedian Jack Cruise directed the Olympia Pantomime in the 1960s and 70s.

His granddaughter, Orlaith Cruise, says it would be a shame to lose the name.

"I do think it is a bit of a sign of the times, I guess with theatres being in a lot of financial trouble at the moment - and especially in the middle of a pandemic."

"It would be a shame to lose the name - hopefully they'll keep part of the old Victorian fa├žade on the front.

"I think they have a preserve on that, so hopefully that will stay the same".

Additional reporting: Kim Buckley

Main image: A view inside Dublin's Olympia Theatre. Picture by: olympia.ie

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