Hackney Empire features in new Captain America film

Cinema audiences settling down to watch the hotly-anticipated release of superhero blockbuster Captain America: The First Avenger this week can look out for a rather special cameo appearance.

The historic Hackney Empire theatre can be seen in the 1940s comic book adaptation, which came out last Friday (July 29).

Actors in costume surprised shoppers in Mare Street when filming for the Hollywood hit began at theatre last September.

And its vintage auditorium now provides a backdrop in the movie for a patriotic performance by Captain America himself.

The film, starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones, follows Steve Rogers, a young American soldier, who volunteers to undergo a series of experiments to become a super soldier.

He is deemed too valuable for conflict and sent to star in shows aimed at boosting American morale, but is eventually enlisted in the battle against the Nazis – and the evil Red Skull – as Captain America.

Clarie Middleton, chief executive of the Hackney Empire, which has fought financial crisis in recent years, said: “We all know what a stunning venue it is but the Empire is now becoming clear that filmmakers can see it too.

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“Renting the theatre out is a major part of our business plan, as we have to generate 85 per cent of our income.

“It is films such as Captain America that keep the theatre as this fantastic local resource.”