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In 1892 a Mr John Walters and two partners secured the premises known as Barkers Foundry  with the intention of converting the premises into a theatre. The theatre opened on Monday September 18th 1893 with seating for 2,200. Its opening show was The Fast Mail, followed by the Middle Man, My Jack and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The theater was also used by no dramatic performers such has appeared in April 1894, Proffesor Crockers, Marvelous Educated Ponies. remnants of  the Foundry windows can be seen bricked up behind the rear stage wall.  Known as the Art Picture Palace around 1911, and then The Empire Theatre at which time the entertainment was half pictures half talent show. Many  touring companies appeared at the theatre as well Dame Nellie Melba,  the famous Soprano pictured right. Maisie Hanbury pictured below  and Colonel William Cody better known as Buffalo Billl shown left.  Other celebrities to have performed on the stage of the Empire were Mike Hamburg a famous pianist, Arthur Askey, Terry Thomas, Ken Dodd
In 1934 a well known Bacupian, was convinced that the town had talent and was capable of putting on a show similar to those put on in other towns. He succeeded in getting others interested and the Waterside Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society was formed. Quaker Girl in 1935 and Arcadians in 1936 were two highly successful productions before the name of the Society was changed to the Bacup Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society.  More productions until 1939 when at the outbreak of war it became impossible to continue. Some of the pre war shows included Katinka, Babes In The Wood the first show after the war was No No Nanette then  The Girl Friend, Ten Little Niggers, The Blue Goose, A Man About The House and Distinguished Gathering  to name but a few.  Bacup Natural History Society
Previous to being known as the Kozy it was known as the Gem Picture Palace, Kozy showed silent films changing the progr­amme each Thursday and Monday, admission being 3d to 9d(01d money). Matinees were held Tues­day and Saturday at 2pm admission being 1d, 3d and 5d. The pictures were shown with breaks in between for the supposed spoken word to be shown and it was a succ­essful type of entertainment. Sometimes at the Kozy when films were shown with a musical background, as a special attraction local artists such as John Wille Thompson (Bass,) A Cooper (Tenor), Sarah Beswick (Soprano) were engaged to sing songs (that appeared in the picture) during the special interval, from the stage in front of the screen. This was indeed a special feature when the film was not changed, as was usual, but was on for six nights running. The Kozy and King's cinema at Waterfoot were under the same man­agement so used to join at films and this was done by showing a film at one cinema and then a lad on a bike would strap the cannister containing the film on his back and take it from one cinema to the other and vice versa. On occasions there would be a delay and people would be kept waiting for the next film. Films broke regularly passing through the projector and the lights used to go on until a repair was made.
Royal Court Theater
The Kozy Cinema
Choirs & Singing
Pickles Theater was situated on Newchurch Road. In 1867 the performances were said to be of the lowest character with the language used as being grossly immoral and the ac tions of the performers indecent. An old man sung a song that was termed comic but was in fact not suitable to be heard by decent females.
Mr John Holden choirmaster of Stacksteads Wesleyan Prize Choir winners of the first prize at Crystal Palace in 1897 pictured is the prize shield and silver mounted ivory baton which was presented to winning choir.4,000 singers being present on the day taking part in the Non Comformist Choral Festival. The choir were described at the time as having “much purity of tone” and correct intonation”.
Entertainment in the early 19th Century for our Bacupian ancestors consisted of such activites as cock fighting and dog fighting and badger baiting  which took place as far afeild as Crown Point. In 1865 a Bacup man was brought before the court for biting off the head of a live rat for a bet. Gambling was very popular, and court appearances common for this. With an abundance of well built men who worked in the quarries, bare knuckle fighting was also a common and popular past-time.  Broadclough was describe in 1865  as  a scene of disorder and riot, with men comming reeling out of the local inn still dressed in thier filthy work clothes and clogs, swearing, cursing and fighting   looking like the filthiest rascals Lancashire could ever produce. In 1867 a young man brought to Bacup to entertain the populace with his euphonium was thtreatened with death and all other sorts of unimaginable things. It was common for concerts to be disrupted by marauding children and adults.  Whilst several theaters appear in the local newspapers the only one which seemes to be of a permanent structure was Pickles Theater others such as the Royal Standard and Lyceum seem to be mobile theaters.
Pickles Theater
Stacksteads Wesleyan Prize Choir. Bacup Amatuers
Amateur Operatics
Bacup Public Hall
Bacup Operatic Society
Following a meeting held in St Johns  on February 1882, an orchestral society was started the object of making Bacup equal with other towns in possesing a body of instrumentalists. Thier first concert was in November 1882 witha number of 27, conducted by WH Brearley, the vocalist was Miss Bessie Holt, and Mr Henry Green. Four years later they consisted of 37 members. Attendance dropped in 1859 and 1895 with the concerts lapsing. During the Great War, the depleted numbers led to a cessation of activities and it was not until 1946 that they got going again. The Co-Operative Store Provided entertainments for its members and also  non members. The responsibility of organising these entertainments was down to the education committee and in 1860 one of these shows was a series of Peoples Concerts.  These included clog dancers, bell ringers and singers. The Evening Star Christy Minstrels performed in 1868.  In later yaers the Co-operative stores were the location for boxing matches and the more sedate tea dances.
In 1884 Stacksteads Working Mens Club put   on its annual dog, pigeon, puktry, cat and   rabbit show. It attracted  500 participants.  Some from as far away as Birmingham.   In additions to these types of shows the club put on shows from October to July with similar concerts at Easter Whitsuntide   and Christmas. Chess Draughts and cards  were a favourite indoor pastime at the   Victoria Working Men’s Club. The club   belonged to various card and billiard   leagues.In 1895 and 1896 four members   were cautioned for gambling and for acting   as bookmakers within the club. 
Working Men’s Clubs
Stacksteads Working Mens Club. Co-Op Gala 1911
The Bacup Nat organised weekly rambles, and lectures with fortnightly gatherings to discuss  flora and fauna and other natural sciences. With annual dinners being held from1904. Like today raising funds was a constant effort and with this in mind concerts were often organised to do this. Chess, draughts and cards were a common pastime as was singing and piano playing.
The Public Hall had been built, by 1878 and consisted of  six lock up shops on the ground floor, with six rooms at the back for storage. The Public Hall which was built to hold 800-900 people, held a Skating Rink  and stage for shows and other performances, such as those performed by the Rossendale Theater.
Nat Ramble. The Regal Cinema
The Regal Super Cinema Opened on September 7th 1931 with seating for 900 people the Cinema closed in September 1958 later opening as a Bingo Hall. Britannia Coconutters    
The man sat on the Left in the above picture taken in 1913 is said to have been a man named Emmanuel Dua, this claim followed a story reported in the Bacup Echo of 1976 which told the story of  how Emmanuel, whilst paying a visit to the area from his home in Ghana. One night he visited St James church hall in Waterfoot to watch the " Nutters" who were giving a demonstration. He was apparently amazed when they began to dance, for all three of their dances were very similar to traditional tribal dances performed by the Dagomba Tribe of Northern Ghana. He was convinced he was seeing a imitation of the same dances until he was told it was just the Britannia Coconutters and their dances were a Easter tradition. Mr John Flynn the Nutters secretary at the time was also said to be amazed at the story and said that although the Nutters had travelled all over the world this was the first time he had heard this particular story neither himself nor Mr Dua could see how the dances could have possibly travelled the thousands of miles from Ghana. Over the years many theories had been passed around about the origins of the " Nutters" including Tin traders bringing it from North Africa to Cornwall where it was then picked up by the miners who later moved to Lancashire.A week after the report appeared in the Bacup Echo a lady wrote in to say that she had been told that some local men serving in the Boer War had seen a tribal dance performed in Africa which gave them an idea which they then put into practice when they come home. The lady Elizabeth Leyland felt it no surprise after being told this story that Mr Dua was convinced he was seeing some sort of tribal dance. Whilst the lady did not know the identity of the local men involved she did say that she had recognised Mr Dua in the photograph and the two ladies who were Mr Jackson's wife Mary and her close friend Mrs Margaret Papworth.  
Regal Cinema
Skating at the Public Hall. The Kozy Cinema