A Hackney (Not Hackneyed) Restoration

“At a cost of £15m, the Hackney Empire will reopen tomorrow, a delirium of colour, from gold to brown. It’s anyone’s vision of the voluptuous beauty of an Edwardian music hall – and as phoney as a chocolate £6 note.” As the restoration proceeded, it became clear that the original color scheme of the theater was a bet, well, slap-dash, and the restorers opted for a faux period look, rather than a historically accurate repaint. “The east London theatre, which 20 years ago narrowly escaped demolition for a car park, was designed by the architect Frank Matcham, and is generally agreed to be the best surviving Victorian and Edwardian music hall.”