Sunderland Empire

Access Information:


The Sunderland Empire Theatre is situated on High Street West opposite the Sunderland Minster. It is on the corner of High Street West and Garden Place. Its address is High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3EX


Customers can be dropped off directly outside the theatre.  There is a multi-story car park called The Bridges at the end of Chester Road.  That is a three-minute walk from the theatre.


The nearest train and metro station for the theatre is Sunderland Centre.  You will arrive at the station on Platform 3.  It should take you approximately five minutes to walk to the theatre from the station via the following route.

To exit the station, take the stairs up from the platform.  At the top of the stairs turn right towards the Bridges Shopping Centre.  Walk through the shopping centre and take the right exit at the top by Starbucks.  Follow this path along until you come to a road. Turn left onto this road and the theatre is opposite you.

Alternatively taxi’s can be taken from the station.  Exit the station via the stairs on Platform 3.  Walk straight ahead of you for the taxi rank.  If you would like to pre-book a taxi please call Station Taxis on 0191 565 6565.

For any other enquiries about your journey to and from the theatre please call Travel Line on 0871 200 2233


The main entrance for the theatre on High Street West is flanked by cream pillars and is four steps up from the pavement. The doors are either held open by staff before and after a performance or are automatic. There are two sets of doors which open away from you. They both have glass panels in them.

There are staircases either side of the foyer.  Both sets of stairs lead up to a foyer area, and the entrance to the Stalls and Dress Circle levels.  A further set of central stairs lead from this foyer level up to the Upper Circle.


If you require level access to the theatre, you can gain direct entrance to the stalls level via the Foyer Bar.  The door to the Foyer Bar is on High Street West, to the left of the main entrance.  The entrance doors are automated.

Lift access to the Dress Circle is located within the Foyer Bar.
Picking up tickets and headsets


To collect your tickets you will need to go to the Box Office.

The Box Office is separate to the main theatre and is ten metres to the left of the main entrance doors.

Headsets and Braille or large print cast lists will be distributed once you are settled in your seat. We advise you to take your seat 30 minutes before the show begins to collect and test equipment.

The introductory notes are broadcast fifteen minutes before the start of the performance.  Please ensure you have collected your headset in good time if you intend to listen to the notes.


The theatre was first opened in 1907 and is arranged on four levels – Stalls, Dress Circle, Upper Circle and Gallery. It is one of the largest venues in the North East and can seat 1,868 people.  The auditorium is a traditional horseshoe shape with each level sloping gently down towards the stage.  The theatre has recently been redecorated in sumptuous red, gold and cream.  The seats flip up when not occupied.

To get to the Stalls and the Dress Circle use the main staircases on either side of the foyer.
The stalls have one central aisle running from the back to the front of the auditorium and two aisles on all other levels.

To access the Gallery level, go to Circle Bar at the top of the main central staircase.  Turn left and go through the set of four wooden doors at the end of the bar.  Turn right through the doors to the gallery.

Positions for wheelchairs are allocated on booking.  Stewards will assist you in finding your position.

There are toilets on each level of the theatre, the doors for which open away from you.


Useful information and contact numbers


Guide dogs are welcome throughout the theatre. You should inform the Box Office in advance if you will be bringing a guide dog. You will need to take your dog into the auditorium with you as the theatre has no facility to look after assistance dogs during the performance.

The Box Office is open from 10am – 5.30pm or 15 minutes after an evening performance. The building is closed on Sundays, unless there is a performance.

If you have any enquiries about seating, please call the Box Office on 0870 602 1130.

Touch tours are usually available before an Audio Described performance; please get in touch for further details and to confirm attendance.

For general access enquiries, please call Anthony Hope (Creative Learning Officer & Access Champion) on 0191 566 1054.
Please note that this information has been supplied by the venue and although every effort is made to check details in advance, there may still be things you find unclear. In this case, we would ask you to phone Anthony Hope for clarification. Just to remind you, his number is 0191 566 1054.
We do hope you enjoy your visit to the Sunderland Empire Theatre.