Showtime at the Royal: The Story of Dublin's Legendary Theatre
Tears were shed on the evening of 30 June 1962 when the final curtain came down on the expansive stage of Dublin's famous Theatre Royal, the largest entertainment venue in Ireland and Britain, with its capacity of almost 4,000. It was the end of an era for generations of fans who enjoyed evenings at the Hawkins Street cine-variety venue, where one could watch a film, have a meal and enjoy a big stage show. There has been nothing to match it since. Stars who appeared there read like a who's who of show business. Besides legendary Irish entertainers including Jimmy O'Dea, Noel Purcell, Jack Cruise, Cecil Sheridan, Danny Cummins, Frankie Blowers and many more, the Royal played host to the likes of Bob Hope, Gracie Fields, Joan Hammond, Maurice Chevalier, Judy Garland, James Cagney, Margot Fonteyn, Danny Kaye, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Yehudi Menuhin, Arthur Rubinstein, Bill Haley, Frankie Vaughan, Paul Robeson, George Formby, Anna Neagle, the Three Stooges, Frankie Laine, Johnnie Ray, Nat King Cole, Allan Jones and Count John McCormack to mention a few. It was said in the entertainment world that if you hadn't appeared at the Royal, you hadn't really made it internationally. Showtime at the Royal covers the complete history of Ireland's most famous showplace dating back to the seventeenth century and its special place in the social history of the city. There are interviews, anecdotes and reports, and many unique photographs seen for the first time in public.