Hackney Empire coronavirus crowdfunder raises over £27,000 in one day to see it through its ‘biggest challenge’ ever

Hackney Empire, of Mare Street.

Hackney Empire, of Mare Street. - Credit: Archant

The Hackney Empire has raised over £27,000 since launching a crowdfunder yesterday to help it weather the coronavirus pandemic, which it has dubbed “the biggest challenge in its 120 year history”.

Hackney Empire, of Mare Street.

Hackney Empire, of Mare Street. - Credit: Archant

Whilst other industries are starting to open up as the UK climbs out of lockdown, there is no end in sight for concert halls, music venues and theatres, which rely on bringing large numbers of people together, and they remain under real threat.

The last three months of closure have already been “devastating” for the finances of the legendary theatre in Mare Street, which generates over 85 per cent of its funding from box office sales and earned income.

“We are doing everything we can to safeguard Hackney Empire’s future but as a registered charity we need your help,” a spokesperson said as they launched the fund raising initiative yesterday.

“To be able to open our doors again at a safer time Hackney Empire needs to survive, and we have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help us survive the immediate financial challenges that being closed has brought.”

Hackney Empire Patron and actor Clive Rowe and comedian Alan Davies have thrown their weight behind the campaign, along with BBC journalist Robert Peston. He said: “Hackney Empire is a magnificent historic gem, a wonderful community theatre and an important performing arts centre. It is invaluable and irreplaceable.”

Clive Rowe, who more often than not plays the dame in the theatre’s legendary annual panto added: “Theatres have been hit incredibly hard by lockdown, but a world without them is unimaginable.

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“Places like Hackney Empire must survive, and you can help to make sure they do. Please support this campaign if you can and ensure that Hackney Empire can open its doors again for Panto, for music, for comedy and for everyone.”

To donate see: payitforward.london.gov.uk/save-hackney-empire-1?dm_i=3YV6,15CW5,2W780E,42980,1.