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Sunderland Empire Theatre

High Street West, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR1 3EX

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About this venue

Sunderland Empire Theatre brings big West End productions, drama, comedy and musicals into the heart of the city. It is the biggest theatre in the North East and guarantees an exciting programme of events, staging season after season of dazzling entertainment featuring West End musicals, classical ballet and spectacular dance productions, cutting-edge comedy and drama, plus music concerts and family shows including the annual star-studded pantomime. This Grade 2 listed Edwardian theatre was built in 1907 and has a colourful history. It's where Sid James famously died on stage in front of a packed house, and where the likes of Charlie Chaplin, The Beatles and Tommy Steele have all performed.

Access Guide

Show Easy Read

Introduction

  • Services / facilities within the building include the foyer bar, circle bar and bistro restaurant.
  • Comments View
    • There is an app called Ordertorium available for iPhones and Android phones to place orders for drinks or snacks to be delivered directly to your seat.
    • Alternatively you can hold your seat menu above your head and staff will come to take your order.

Opening Times (Theatre)

  • Opening times do vary depending on performances.

Location

  • There is a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the venue.
  • The nearest National Rail station is Sunderland.
  • The nearest Metro Station is Sunderland.

Parking

  • The venue does not have its own car park.
  • Public Car Parks View
    • There is a car park for public use within 200m (approx).
    • The name of the car park is Bridges Car Park.
    • The car park is located in Green Terrace.
  • On Street Parking and Drop-off Details View
    • On street marked Blue Badge bays are available.
    • On street Blue Badge parking is located in High Street West.
    • Clearly signed and / or standard marked parking bays are not available.
    • There is not a designated drop off point.
  • Comments View
    • The Blue Badge parking is not marked into individual bays.

Outside Access (Main Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located at the front of the building.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
  • The door(s) is / are double.
  • The door(s) is / are permanently held open.
  • The width of the door opening is 207cm (6ft 9in).
  • Second set of doors View
    • There is a second set of doors.
    • The door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
    • The door(s) is / are double.
    • The door(s) is / are permanently held open.
    • The width of the door opening is 206cm (6ft 9in).

Level Change (Main Entrance)

  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located in front of the first set of entrance doors and beyond the second set of entrance doors.
  • There is/are 4 step(s) to the area/service.
  • The lighting levels at the step(s) are medium.
  • There is not tactile paving at the top and bottom of the steps.
  • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are medium height (11cm - 17cm).
  • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).

Outside Access (Accessible Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located at the front of the building.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) automatically (away from you).
  • The door(s) is / are single.
  • The width of the door opening is 102cm (3ft 4in).
  • Second set of doors View
    • There is a second set of doors.
    • The door(s) open(s) automatically (away from you).
    • The door(s) is / are single.
    • The width of the door opening is 102cm (3ft 4in).
  • Comments View
    • There are double manual doors to the left of the automatic second door.
    • These doors open away from you.
    • The doors are heavy.
    • The doors are 116cm wide.
    • This entrance leads directly into the foyer bar.

Level Change (Accessible Entrance)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is located in front of and between the entrance doors.
  • The ramp/slope is easy.

Box Office

  • Comments View
    • The box office is to the left of the main entrance.
    • The doors to the box office open away from you automatically.
    • The doors are double.
    • These doors are 105cm wide.
    • There is a slight slope at this entrance which is 105 wide with no handrails.
    • There is also a slight ramp to the right as you enter with handrails on both sides.
    • There are 2 medium steps beyond the entrance with handrails on both sides.
    • The ramp overcomes the steps.
    • The box office counters are 10m from the entrance.
    • The counters are 105cm high.
    • There is a lower section to the left of the main counters.
    • This counter is 74cm high.
    • There is a portable hearing loop at the counters.
  • Opening Times View
    • Monday 10:00 - 15:30.
    • Tuesday 10:00 - 15:30.
    • Wednesday 10:00 - 15:30.
    • Thursday 10:00 - 15:30.
    • Friday 10:00 - 15:30.
    • Saturday 10:00 - 15:30.
    • Sunday Closed.

Inside Access

  • There is not level access to the service(s).
  • This venue does play background music.
  • Music is played during performances.
  • Motorised scooters are allowed in public parts of the venue.
  • The lighting levels are varied.

Theatre

  • There are designated spaces for wheelchair users.
  • Designated seating is located in rows D, F, H, J, L, M.
  • Designated seating with limited views is all designated seats.
  • The view is limited by the overhang of the dress circle seating.
  • Wheelchairs are left with the patron.
  • A companion may sit with you.
  • Companions sit in the adjacent seat.
  • It is 17m (18yd 1ft) from the designated seating area to the nearest accessible toilet.
  • This venue does provide audio described performances.
  • There is a hearing assistance system.
  • The hearing system is infrared.
  • Staff are trained to use the hearing system.
  • A deposit is not required for the sound enhancement system.
  • The rows suitable for hearing loops are all rows.
  • There is not a wheelchair to borrow.
  • Concessions are available.
  • Assistance dogs are allowed in the auditorium.
  • To view the Sunderland Empire Seating Plan website for more information on accessible seating please click here (new tab).
  • Comments View
    • There are medium clearly marked steps in the dress, upper circle and gallery.
    • Some of these steps have handrails and some do not.
    • Sennheiser headsets are available free of charge.
    • The venue will provide audio brochures on request.
    • The gallery is not suitable for the hearing system.

Level Change (Foyer Bar, Auditorium, Accessible and Standard Toilets)

  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located at the rear of the foyer bar.
  • There is/are 5 step(s) to the area/service.
  • The lighting levels at the step(s) are medium.
  • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are medium height (11cm - 17cm).
  • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
  • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.

Eating and Drinking (Foyer Bar)

  • The following information is for the bar.
  • The bar is located beyond the accessible entrance.
  • The bar does not serve food.
  • Full table service is not available.
  • Food or drinks are ordered from the service counter.
  • Food or drinks can be brought to the table.
  • There is not a lowered section at the counter.
  • No chairs are permanently fixed.
  • No chairs have armrests.
  • The nearest table is approximately 3m (3yd 10in) from the accessible entrance.
  • There is ample room for a wheelchair user to manoeuvre.
  • Plastic / takeaway cups are available.
  • Drinking straws are available.
  • Children are welcomed in the bar area.
  • Menus are wall only.
  • Comments View
    • There are no tables in this area.
    • The glass shelf is 115cm high.

Stalls Bar

  • The bar is located at the rear of the auditorium.
  • The height of the bar is 112cm.
  • There are no seats in this area.
  • The height of the interval shelves are 121cm high.

Other Floors (Circle Bar, Bistro Restaurant, Accessible and Standard Toilets)

  • Steps View
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are G,1.
    • There are 15+ steps between floors.
    • The steps are not clearly marked.
    • The steps are medium (11cm - 17cm).
    • The steps do have handrails.
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • There is not a landing.
    • The lighting levels are medium.
  • Comments View
    • On the first flight of stairs there are two stair cases to the left and right.

Other Floors (Dress Circle, Upper Circle, Gallery)

  • Steps View
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are G, 1, 2, 3.
    • There are 15 steps between floors.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • The steps are medium (11cm - 17cm).
    • The steps do have handrails.
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • There is a landing.
    • The lighting levels are medium.
  • Other View
    • The area(s)/service(s) on the floors which are not accessible is/are the gallery.

Lift

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located to the left of the foyer bar.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are LG, G, 1, 2.
  • The lift is approximately 14m (15yd 11in) from the accessible entrance.
  • Staff do not need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The clear door width is 90cm (2ft 11in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 110cm x 139cm (3ft 7in x 4ft 7in).
  • There are separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • There is not a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
  • The lift does have a visual floor indicator.
  • The lift does have an audible announcer.
  • The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • The lift does have Braille markings.
  • The lift does not have tactile markings.
  • The lighting level in the lift is medium.

Coffee Bar

  • The coffee bar is located on the first floor.
  • There is no seating in this area.
  • The bar is 102cm high.

Eating and Drinking (Circle Bar and Bistro Restaurant)

  • The following information is for the restaurant/bar.
  • The restaurant is located on the first floor.
  • The bar does serve food.
  • Full table service is available.
  • Food or drinks are ordered from the service counter.
  • Food or drinks can be brought to the table.
  • There is not a lowered section at the counter.
  • Some tables are permanently fixed.
  • Some chairs are permanently fixed.
  • Some chairs have armrests.
  • The nearest table is approximately 7m (7yd 1ft) from the lift.
  • The distance between the floor and the lowest table is 73cm (2ft 5in).
  • The distance between the floor and the highest table is 110cm (3ft 7in).
  • The standard height for tables is 73cm.
  • There is ample room for a wheelchair user to manoeuvre.
  • Plastic / takeaway cups are available.
  • Plastic / takeaway cutlery is available.
  • Drinking straws are available.
  • Children are welcomed in the bar area.
  • Menus are hand held only.
  • Menus are not available in Braille.
  • Menus are not available in large print.
  • Picture menus are not available.
  • Menus are clearly written.
  • Menus are presented in contrasting colours.
  • The type of food served here is hot and cold meals and snacks.

Level Change (Circle Bar and Bistro Restaurant)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is located leading from the bar to the restaurant.
  • The ramp/slope is easy.
  • The ramp/slope is permanent.
  • There is not a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
  • The ramp does not have handrails.

Ambassador Boxes

  • There are 4 ambassador boxes located on the first floor.
  • The door to the boxes open away from you.
  • The doors are single.
  • The doors are light.
  • The doors are 69cm wide.
  • Two of the boxes have a clearly marked medium step infront of the entrance.
  • These steps do not have handrails.

Accessible Toilet (Foyer Bar)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • The toilet is not for the sole use of disabled people.
    • There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is approximately 6m (6yd 1ft) from the lift.
    • This accessible toilet is located at the rear of the foyer bar.
    • There is level access to this accessible toilet.
    • This is by lift.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a unisex toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door opens inwards.
    • The door is locked by a twist lock.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 87cm (2ft 10in).
    • The door is light.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 257cm x 188cm (8ft 5in x 6ft 2in).
    • There is not sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the right.
    • The lateral transfer space is 190cm (6ft 3in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is lever.
    • There is a mixer tap.
    • There is an emergency alarm.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is not fully functional.
    • The alarm was out of reach (higher than 10cm (4") from floor) when surveyed.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are general domestic waste, clinical waste and waste paper pedal bin disposal units.
    • There is not a/are not coat hook(s).
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall-mounted grab rails are available.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on both sides.
    • There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • There is a mirror.
    • Mirrors are not placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 45cm (1ft 6in).
    • There is a hand dryer.
    • The hand dryer cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The hand dryer is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The height of the hand dryer is 118cm (3ft 10in).
    • There is a towel dispenser.
    • The towel dispenser cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The towel dispenser is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is not placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are medium.
  • Baby Change Facilities View
    • Baby change facilities are located within the venue.
    • Baby change facilities are located within the accessible toilet.
    • The height of the baby change table once extended is 85cm (2ft 9in).

Standard Toilet(s) (Foyer Bar)

Accessible Toilet (Circle Bar and Bistro Restaurant)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • The toilet is not for the sole use of disabled people.
    • There is Braille, pictorial and written text signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is approximately 23m (25yd 6in) from the lift.
    • This accessible toilet is located on the first floor to the right of the circle bar.
    • There is level access to this accessible toilet.
    • This is by lift.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a unisex toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is locked by a twist lock.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 82cm (2ft 8in).
    • The door is heavy.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 160cm x 196cm (5ft 3in x 6ft 5in).
    • There is not sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the left.
    • The lateral transfer space is 77cm (2ft 6in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is lever.
    • There is a mixer tap.
    • There is an emergency alarm.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is not fully functional.
    • The alarm was out of reach (higher than 10cm (4") from floor) when surveyed.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are clinical waste and open waste paper bin disposal units.
    • There is not a/are not coat hook(s).
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall-mounted grab rails are available.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on both sides.
    • There is a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • The shelf is higher than 95cm (3ft 1in).
    • There is a mirror.
    • Mirrors are not placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 48cm (1ft 7in).
    • There is a hand dryer.
    • The hand dryer cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The hand dryer is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The height of the hand dryer is 114cm (3ft 9in).
    • There is a towel dispenser.
    • The towel dispenser cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The towel dispenser is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The height of the towel dispenser is 112cm (3ft 8in).
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is not placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are medium.
  • Baby Change Facilities View
    • Baby change facilities are located within the venue.
    • Baby change facilities are located within the accessible toilet.
    • The height of the baby change table once extended is 92cm (3ft).

Accessible Toilet (Stalls)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • The toilet is not for the sole use of disabled people.
    • There is pictorial and written text signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is approximately 24m (26yd 9in) from the lift.
    • This accessible toilet is located to the right of the stalls entrance.
    • There is not level access to this accessible toilet.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a unisex toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is locked by a twist lock.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 90cm (2ft 11in).
    • The door is light.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 150cm x 206cm (4ft 11in x 6ft 9in).
    • There is not sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the left.
    • The lateral transfer space is 90cm (2ft 11in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush, however it is not on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is lever.
    • There is not a mixer tap.
    • There is an emergency alarm.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is not fully functional.
    • The alarm was out of reach (higher than 10cm (4") from floor) when surveyed.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are general domestic waste, clinical waste and open waste paper bin disposal units.
    • There is not a/are not coat hook(s).
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall-mounted grab rails are available.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on both sides.
    • There is a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • The shelf is not higher than 95cm (3ft 1in).
    • There is a mirror.
    • Mirrors are not placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 149cm (4ft 11in).
    • There is a hand dryer.
    • The hand dryer cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The hand dryer is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a towel dispenser.
    • The towel dispenser cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The towel dispenser is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The height of the towel dispenser is 110cm (3ft 7in).
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The height of the toilet roll holder is 119cm (3ft 11in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
    • The height of the wash basin is 84cm (2ft 9in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are medium.
  • Baby Change Facilities View
    • Baby change facilities are located within the venue.
    • Baby change facilities are located within the accessible toilet.
    • The height of the baby change table once extended is 86cm (2ft 10in).

Level Change (Stalls Accessible Toilet)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is located in the corridor at the rear of the stalls.
  • The ramp/slope is easy.
  • The ramp/slope is permanent.
  • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
  • The ramp does have handrails.
  • The handrails are on the right going up.
  • The width of the ramp/slope is 104cm (3ft 5in).

Standard Toilet(s) (Auditorium)

Level Change (Auditorium Standard Toilets)

  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located in front of the entrance.
  • There is/are 2 step(s) to the area/service.
  • The lighting levels at the step(s) are medium.
  • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are medium height (11cm - 17cm).
  • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).

Additional Info

  • Staff do receive disability awareness / equality training.
  • Documents can be requested in Braille.
  • Documents can be requested in large print.
  • A bowl of water can be provided for an assistance dog.
  • A member of staff trained in BSL skills is not normally on duty.