Olympia Theatre (Dublin)
Front entrance in August 2009
|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 - ?)
|Alternative names||The Olympia|
|Type||Concert and events venue|
|Location||72 Dame Street
1,3001,600 (standing and seated)
Opened as "The Star of Erin" music hall in 1879, the venue was renamed as "Dan Lowerys Music Hall" in 1881. It was finally named "The Olympia Theatre" in 1923. It ran successfully for many years until, in November 1974, it was forced to close following major structural damage (during a break in rehearsals for a production of West Side Story parts of the proscenium arch and the ceiling above collapsed). 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.
The theatre was restored and redecorated, allowing it to reopen on 14 March 1977. In November 2004, a truck reversing on Dame Street crashed into the front of the Olympia damaging the building. 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.
The venue hosts both domestic and international acts, including Adele, Elvis Costello, Elkie Brooks, Moving Hearts, Aslan, The Script, Kaiser Chiefs, Billy Connolly and Chris Cornell amongst others. R.E.M. recorded their album Live at the Olympia at the venue. Erasure played two consecutive sold-out shows here during their Total Pop Tour in June 2011, recording footage used for the videoclip of their single When I Start To (Break It All Down). The band played again at the Olympia for two others consecutive sold-out shows in 2014 for their The Violet Flame Tour: during these shows they recorded footage used later for the Sacred video. Tom Waits recorded his live version of The Piano Has Been Drinking here, released in 1981 on the Bounced Checks compilation. Tori Amos played her first European gig in the Olympia. In September 2015, Sweden's Eurovision Song Contest winner Måns Zelmerlöw is expected to kick off a 17-date European tour at the venue. The film An Awfully Big Adventure shot a number of scenes at the theatre.
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. This year[when?] the Olympia pantomime features Jedward once again in Jedward and the Beanstalk.
- "History of Dublin's Theatres and Music Halls - Olympia". arthurlloyd.co.uk.
- "Theatres, Halls and Related Articles for Dublin, Ireland". Retrieved 2008-08-07.
- "Olympia canopy to be restored after crash". The Irish Times. 18 November 2004. Retrieved 21 May 2015.