Hackney Empire

Access information for The Hackney Empire February 2020


The address of The Hackney Empire is, 291 Mare St, London E8 1EJ


If arriving by car, Hackney Empire is located within a controlled parking zone, and parking spaces are scarce.

If travelling by bus the destination is: Hackney Town Hall. Bus numbers are, 30, 38, 48, 55, 106, 236 (24hr), 242 (24hr), 253, 254, 276, 277 (24hr), 394, D6, W15, N38, N55, N106, N253.


If travelling by train or tube, Hackney Central (approximately 300 metres from Hackney Empire) has regular trains linking to the Tube with direct interchanges at Highbury & Islington (Victoria Line), Stratford (Central Line) and West Hampstead and Canada Water (Jubilee Line).


Bethnal Green (Central Line) is a short bus ride away. Hackney Downs and London Fields train stations are approximately 640 metres away with trains going into Liverpool Street.


Hackney Empire is on Mare Street, next to Hackney Town Hall. Around the main entrance to the Theatre there is an ornate red and cream facade, topped with turrets and domes. On the corner of the building, above the entrance to the Stage 3 cafe/bar is an enormous concrete sign reading ‘Hackney Empire’. There is a ramp at the main entrance on Mare Street.


There are four separate entrances to the Theatre depending on where you will be seated. In addition to the main entrance doors there’s another set of double wooden doors located on the left-hand side, which is for stalls ticket holders and wheelchair users. If you enter through these doors, there is a small corridor in front which leads to the stalls entrance as well as the access lift to all levels of the auditorium, and the cloakroom. Double doors within the Main Entrance lead to the Dress Circle. The entrances for Upper Circle and Gallery levels are at the side of the building on Wilton Way, Town Hall Square, past Stage 3 cafe/bar,


The foyer and box office begin just outside the main entrance doors. There are two sets of double wooden doors with window boxes on either side. This is the box office. On the left of the main steps you can collect tickets that have already been paid for, and on the right is a window to purchase tickets.


The small, decorative foyer has red carpet throughout, and is lit with a mixture of natural and artificial lighting during the day. It can get quite busy before a performance. There are two staircases on either side of the press desk, which sometimes sells merchandise. These staircases lead to the Foyer bar. If you continue up to the left you will enter the dress circle.


On the far right of the foyer beyond the staircases, there is another corridor, which leads to the female toilets and accessible toilets with baby changing facilities.


Male, female and accessible toilets can be found on every floor, All accessible toilets include baby changing facilities.


Cloakroom facilities can be found on the ground floor towards the Stalls entrance.


If you require assistance getting to any of the seating levels please inform the Box Office when making your booking or contact a member of the Front of House team on your arrival to the theatre. If you wish to use the lift, which goes to all levels, a member of the team will escort you to the appropriate level of the auditorium.


The auditorium seats 1275 people, and is split into four levels, Stalls, Dress Circle, Upper Circle and Gallery. The space is decorated in dark wood, with red carpets, chairs and curtains.


There are six wheelchair spaces located at the rear of the Stalls. There is level access to the seats in the Front Stalls. We recommend wheelchair users arrive 45 minutes before the show starts.


There is level access via the Lift to Boxes J, K and L in the Dress Circle. All other seats and boxes are accessed by three or more steps.


The Upper Circle is located on the second floor of the Theatre. There are 52 steps from Ground floor to the Upper Circle. All seats are accessed by one or more steps. There are handrails on the walls of the theatre, but no handrail in the central aisle. If you wish to use the lift a member of the team will escort you.


The Gallery is located on the third floor of the theatre. There are 89 steps from the Ground floor to the Gallery. All seats are accessed by one or more steps. There are handrails on the walls of the theatre and in the central aisles. The Seating in the Gallery is all bench seats with no back rest. Seating is unallocated.


There are bars on every level of the Theatre. All four bars are located at the back of the Theatre opposite the stage. The bar at Stalls level is at the back of the auditorium, on the other floors the bars are smaller and separated by doors. For most shows the bars will open 45 minutes before the performance.


Stage 3 cafe/bar, which is part of the Hackney Empire, is located directly next door to the Theatre. There are male, female and accessible toilets, located in the right corner, behind the bar counter.


Further Information and Contact Details


If bringing an assistance dog, please ask box office staff at the point of booking. Dogs may be taken to aisle seats or looked after by a member of the front of house staff.


For most events the Theatre offers concession rate tickets for disabled audience members, with a free ticket for an assistant or friend. These rates may not apply for some independently promoted events.


The theatre uses a radio system for audio description; the radio signal is transmitted across the whole auditorium. Receivers, either stethoscope models, or belt-pack models with separate headphones, will be supplied by the theatre, and staff will demonstrate how to use them. You may want to bring your own headphones and request a belt-pack receiver.


UCAN GO is an indoor navigation app designed for you to independently visit our venue with confidence. UCAN GO currently supports visitors at Hackney Empire. For More Information & to Download the App Click Here 


For further information on Disabled Access at the Hackney Empire please contact our Customer Experience Managers Shaniece Deleon on [email protected] or Marika Morgan on [email protected]


To contact VocalEyes, call us on 020 7375 1043. You can receive a copy of the free Vocaleyes Newsletter with full details on all our work by calling us or by following the links on the Vocaleyes accessible website. The Newsletter is available in print, Braille, on CD or via e-mail. The website address is www.vocaleyes.co.uk.


Vocaleyes is a charity funded by Arts Council England.