Olympia Theatre, Dublin

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Olympia Theatre
The Olympia
Olympia Theatre Dublin entrance in 2009.JPG
Front entrance of the Olympia Theatre in August 2009
Olympia Theatre is located in Central Dublin
Olympia Theatre
Olympia Theatre
Former names Star of Erin Music Hall
(1879–1881)
Dan Lowrey's Music Hall
(1881–1889)
Dan Lowrey's Palace of Varieties
(1889–1897)
Empire Palace Theatre
(1897–1923)
Address 72 Dame Street
Dublin
Republic of Ireland
Coordinates 53°20′39″N 6°15′58″W / 53.344278°N 6.266111°W / 53.344278; -6.266111
Type Concert and events venue
Capacity

1,287 seated[1]

1,600 standing and seating[2]
Construction
Opened 1879
Renovated 1977 & 2016
Architect John J. Callaghan[3]
Website
olympia.ie

The Olympia Theatre is a concert hall and theatre venue in Dublin, Ireland, located in Dame Street.

The venue has played host to many well-known international artists down through the years such as David Bowie, Foo Fighters, The Killers, Billy Connolly and Charlie Chaplin as well as the best of Irish talent.

Origins[edit]

Dublin's Olympia Theatre started out as The Star of Erin Music Hall in 1879. The theatre was built on the site of a former saloon and music hall originally called Connell's Monster Saloon in 1855. It was renamed Dan Lowrey's Music Hall in 1881. In 1889 it was renamed again, this time to Dan Lowrey's Palace of Varieties. It was finally designated its present-day title in 1923.[4]

Performance history[edit]

The venue has hosted both domestic and international acts, including: Adele, Aslan, David Bowie, Charlie Chaplin, Billy Connolly, Chris Cornell, Florence and the Machine, Foo Fighters, Kraftwerk, Laurel and Hardy, Gary Numan, Radiohead, The Coronas, The Killers and The Script. Tom Waits recorded his live version of "The Piano Has Been Drinking" here, released in 1981 on the Bounced Checks compilation.[5] Comedian and actor Dermot Morgan recorded Dermot Morgan Live here on 16 April 1994. The 1995 film An Awfully Big Adventure shot a number of scenes at the theatre.[6]

R.E.M. held a five-night residency at the venue in the summer of 2007 and used those sessions for their 2009 album Live at the Olympia.[7] Kris Kristofferson recorded a live set at the Olympia for the special edition of his 2009 album Closer to the Bone.[5] Erasure played two consecutive sold-out shows at the Olympia during their Total Pop! Tour in June 2011, recording footage used for the video of their single "When I Start To (Break It All Down)".[8][9][10]

Tori Amos played her first European gig in the Olympia. In September 2015, Sweden's Eurovision Song Contest winner Måns Zelmerlöw kicked off a 17-date European tour at the venue.[11] Paramore kicked off their European tour of their new album After Laughter from this theatre in June 2017.[12][13] On May 28 2018 American pop group Why Don’t We played their first irish gig in the Olympia and it sold out within the first few weeks of sale

Pantomimes[edit]

The Olympia, along with Dublin's Gaiety Theatre and The Helix Theatre, presents an annual Christmas pantomime. Its most recent productions have been Aladdin, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Robin Hood and a revival of Cinderella which starred Jedward as the Fairy Godbrothers. In 2011, the Olympia pantomime featured Jedward once more in Jedward and the Beanstalk.[14]

Refurbishments[edit]

In November 1974, the Olympia was forced to close following major structural damage when parts of the proscenium arch and the ceiling above collapsed during a break in rehearsals for a production of West Side Story.[4] The possibility of demolishing the building was considered by the local council and the owners; however a restoration fund was begun and city councillors eventually placed a preservation order on the theatre.[4] The theatre was restored and redecorated, allowing it to reopen on 14 March 1977.[4]

In November 2004, a truck reversing on Dame Street crashed into the front of the Olympia, damaging the building.[15] A cast-iron and glass canopy from the 1890s, by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, was demolished during the accident but has since been restored.[16] In 2016, the theatre was again refurbished. This time the building was completely refurbished at a cost of over €4 million with the venue remaining open during renovation work.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Venues – Olympia Theatre". IrishTheatre.ie. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "Black market REM tickets warning". Irish Examiner. 10 April 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  3. ^ "The History of the Olympia Theatre". Olympia Theatre Website. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d "History of Dublin's Theatres and Music Halls – Olympia". arthurlloyd.co.uk. Retrieved 7 August 2008. 
  5. ^ a b Byrne, Stephen (9 April 2015). "Ghosts, Glitz and Glamour: A Brief History of The Olympia Theatre, Dublin". Irish Independent. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "An Awfully Big Adventure film locations". movie-locations.com. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (29 October 2009). "R.E.M. Live at the Olympia". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  8. ^ "Erasure Setlist". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  9. ^ "Erasure Setlist". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "Erasure – When I Start to (Break It All Down) (Official Video)". ErasureVEVO. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2017 – via YouTube. 
  11. ^ Ivan, Lucy (23 September 2015). "Måns Zelmerlöw at the Olympia Theatre – Review & Photos". Dublinconcerts.ie. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "Paramore 'After Laughter'". Warner Music Ireland. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "Paramore Setlist". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  14. ^ Hegarty, Shane (23 December 2011). "Jedward and the Beanstalk". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "Olympia canopy to be restored after crash". The Irish Times. 18 November 2004. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  16. ^ Falvey, Deirdre (21 April 2007). "Mysteries of the Olympia's canopy". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  17. ^ "Olympia Theatre: Dublin's Oldest Theatre Gets A Brand New Look". Hot Press. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°20′39.4″N 6°15′58″W / 53.344278°N 6.26611°W / 53.344278; -6.26611