The Shakespeare Theatre opened in Fraser Street 1888 by the proprietor Mr Ellis Brammall jun. and was built by J H Havelock-Sutton who also built the Park Palace Music Hall in 1893 and the Metropole Theatre in Bootle in 1911, both the Metropole and the Park Palace have since been demolished A description of The Shakespeare Theatre from Kelly's Directory of Liverpool 1894 reads “it is lighted throughout by Electric light .The ventilation both behind and before the curtain is of the most improved type and during the winter months the theatre is heated by hot water. The foyer is lined and panelled with Dantric oak each panel being beautifully carved and representing scenes and characters from Shakespeare's plays. Special attention has been paid to the prevention of fire, concrete being largely used for the construction of the theatre and over the stage are two large water mains called 'sprinklers' The stage is separated from the auditorium by a patent asbestos and iron fire proof curtain weighing five tons and by iron doors. The theatre is estimated to hold 3,500 persons”
The interior of the Shakespeare Theatre
Sam Wanamaker took over the Theatre in 1957 and renamed it the New Shakespeare, producing 'legitimate' theatre there.
It was also briefly known as the Pigalle Theatre Club. Despite their best endeavours however, neither venture lasted very long. and Sam Wannamaker the Film director was appointed director of the New Shakespeare Theatre in 1957, Fraser Street Liverpool, and Served as artistic director till 1959.