Egyptian Hall, seating capacity

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Postby MitsuMatsu » 02/19/12 03:27 AM

I know there were two halls within the Egyptian Hall in London, large and small.
Can anyone tell me their respective seating capacity?
Thanks in advance.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/19/12 06:42 AM

During the period the Maskelynes were there, the theater had a capacity of about 300 people. The building was originally built as a museum and appears to have been reconfigured several times over its near 100-year history (1812 to 1903).

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Postby MitsuMatsu » 02/19/12 09:05 AM

Thank you for this. May I understand that you are talking about the large hall?
Once J. N. Maskelyne and Dr. Lynn appeared there at the same time in its large and small theatre respectively. (The illustrated History of Magic, p.159.)
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Postby Joe Pecore » 02/19/12 09:24 AM

In "The Egyptian Hall in London Center of A Magical Universe" By John Booth in February, 1979 issue of Genii (which of course subscribers can access free via Genii Archives) seems to imply that the large theater held up to 300.

He describes the small one as an auditorium or room located one flight upstairs in The Egyptian Hall. Does not mention it's seating capacity.
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Postby MitsuMatsu » 02/19/12 07:19 PM

I am grateful to have your additional note including the source. Thanks!
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Postby Allen Tipton » 04/22/12 10:58 AM

Mitsu-san There are a number of pages on The Egyptian Hall in Eddie Dawes book--'The Great Illusionists'; but canot see anything about capacity. It does mention the replica of Seti's Tomb & other exhibits which means the Large Hall mus have been pretty big.
When we were researching together, a couple of years ago, I did find info at a source in Sydney, Australia. The Sydney Library I think ??
I know there was an actual seating plan. If I still have it on the PC or in my files--I will look later and send it direct to you
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Postby Kainoa » 06/16/12 04:10 PM

It's a bit unclear, but by the time Maskelyne gains complete control of the building, the large hall was his primary performance space and the seating was more around 200. George Jenness's wonderful book on Maskelyne and Cooke even provides a seating picture by which you can count seats. This seating does explain the popularity of his venue: comparable tickets (like the Minstrel show just down the street) were sold in spaces that could seat 900, so Maskelyne's show was probably a tough ticket to get.
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