#SaveOurTheatres - Blackburn Empire Theatre

Michael Berry profile

Project by Michael Berry

#SaveOurTheatres - Blackburn Empire Theatre

Total raised £6,045

raised so far

+ est. £361.25 Gift Aid



To support a dream 20 years in the making and at the centre of arts & creativity in the area for the last 18 years.

We're still collecting donations

On the 22nd February 2021 we'd raised £6,005 with 109 supporters in 69 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

Improving the customer experience and access for all.

Blackburn Empire Theatre was built on a dream by a group of local volunteers to convert an abandoned cinema into a community theatre and asset.


It took nearly 20 years to realise that dream, having raised over £800,000 with support from local people, companies and an enthusiastic band of volunteers.

Operating as a charity, with a handful of staff and a large band of willing volunteers, the theatre has been able to bring nearly 300 shows to the public every year and is the home for Blackburn Drama Club, Blackburn Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Blackburn Musical Theatre Company, Junior Dance Schools, The Gos Entertainment Group and professional production company Pendle Productions.


The theatre welcomes a host of professional, amateur, local and school productions as well as the longest run of pantomime in the area. With a varied programme of music, comedy, dance, variety and family shows, it has become the main community hub for arts in the area.

Now, 18 years on from reopening the 332 seat theatre, the COVID pandemic hit the theatre and the impact has been dramatic.


Income generated from tickets sales dropped to practically zero and all the staff had to be furloughed.

The theatre operates as a non-profit charity and uses excess funds to maintain and improve the theatre, so therefore cannot not rely on reserves.

So it’s a simple message, the theatre needs your support.

1607353111_mb.pngChairman Michael Berry said: “We are moving forward and hoping to reopen with socially distanced audiences and a few shows in January 2021. Our original plans included bringing back our Panto before Christmas but Blackburn has been in some form of restriction for many months and we had to cancel this vital production.

“Without regular shows & full houses we cannot ensure a long-term future for the theatre. With a capacity of only 40%, socially distanced shows will, at best, break even. But we want to do it. People want to come back to theatre, they want confidence that it can be done safely and they want to support the theatre. So we will reopen to give people confidence in the theatre and to show support for our local community.

“This is not a sustainable way to operate moving forwards and it does not magically fill the massive gap that COVID has left. With Blackburn having one of the lowest levels of cultural engagement in the country, we simply can not afford to lose this asset.

“It took us 20 years to build the dream and we’ve been at the centre of arts productions in the area for the last 18 years and that’s why we need your support.

“Even if you can’t afford to donate a few pounds to help us, sharing our posts on social media, telling your friends and just talking about our theatre is a great help. Please show your support in whatever way you can.”

Check out our rewards and see if you can help.

You can also create your own page to help the theatre too.

Let’s keep the dream alive!


Above: The print available in rewards.

Terms and Conditions for the Show Prize Draw

The promoter is: Blackburn Empire Theatre, Blackburn, Lancashire. 

The draw is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over except employees of Blackburn Empire Theatre and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.

You can also enter this draw for free by posting your entry to Crowdfunder Draw, Blackburn Empire Theatre, Aqueduct Road, Blackburn BB2 4HT, enclosing your name, address & a contact telephone number.

By entering this draw, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via Crowdfunder or post

Multiple entries from the same person are allowed.

Closing date for entry is 31st January 2021. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.

The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.

The prize is as follows:

Tickets for 4 people to a show of the winners' choosing (subject to availability). Two standard drinks per person will also be included the prize.  The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

Winners will be chosen at random by software, from all entries received and verified by Promoter and or its agents.

The winner will be notified by email within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected / is delivered.

The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.

The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current [UK] data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.

The winner’s name will be available 28 days after closing date by emailing the following address [email protected]

Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

You are providing your information to Blackburn Empire and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at https://blackburnempire.com/privacy-policy/

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This project offered rewards

£40 or more

Become a Friend of the Empire

Our new "Friends of the Empire" membership scheme gives you 12 months of access to show discounts, advance news and special offers. It's a simple way to support the theatre. Usual annual rate is £50.

£5 or more

Win a trip to a show of your choice

By pledging just £5, your name will be entered into a prize draw to win 4 tickets to a show of your choice (subject to availibility). Includes pre-show and interval drinks for 4 and interval ice-cream for 4. One winner drawn at random from all pledges on 1st Feb 2021. For free route of entry, please see T&Cs in our main profile.

£15 or more

Print of The Empire (Limited Edition)

This unique print of The Empire is from a painting commissioned by the theatre by by local artist Mark Best in 2002. It depicts the cinema as it would have been around the 1940s with a passing tram. The print is unmounted and approximately 23 inches by 20 inches in size. Includes postage.

£100 or more

Backstage Tour (Group)

A backstage tour of The Empire with our Chairman Michael Berry. Discover the history of the theatre and how the dream became a reality. For groups of up to 20 when it is safe to do so and subject to availability.

£250 or more

Corporate Sponsor

As a Corporate Sponsor you will receive advertising on our main foyer screen for one year and 4 free tickets to a show of your choice. (Subject to availability)

£350 or more

Sponsor a Show

Sponsor a Show and have your company name associated with all our digital and print advertising for the show. Subject to availability we can arrange a Meet and Greet with the star of the show. Includes 8 free tickets to the sponsored show (Subject to availability). Applies for one-night only productions.

£600 or more

Become the Bar Sponsor

Bar sponsorship for 12 months for both our bars including your own advert displayed above the bar facing the main entrance. It is the most prominent advertising space inside the theatre.

£750 or more

Ticket Sponsor for 12 months

Become our ticket sponsor for 12 months from when we reopen. Your advert will feature on around 40,000 tickets a year, which people receive to print at home or display on their mobile phones. You can update the advert up to 4 times a year. We offer free in-house design if needed. (Usual cost £1000)

£2,500 or more

Pantomime Sponsor

Become the sponsor for one of the longest runs of Panto in the Northwest. Branding on all Pantomime material as main sponsor (digital & print). Advertising space for the run of the pantomime in both the stalls & balcony. 20 free tickets to a pantomime performance of your choice. (subject to availability) This is for the 2021 pantomime run.

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