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Burnley Mechanics Theatre is a magnificent Grade 2 Star listed building opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 1986 in order to present the absolute best in entertainment, special events and community activities in the town. Inside you will find a modern, multipurpose venue offering impressive performance spaces, state-of-the art technical facilities and several comfortable and relaxing spaces to drink, dine and meet friends. This historic venue has played host to some of the finest talent ranging from Sir Ian McKellen, The Osmonds, John Bishop, Alan Carr, Lee Nelson, Tim Vine, the stars of Strictly Come Dancing and our fabulous local societies; Burnley Light Opera and Burnley Pantomime Society. The Mechanics is also the number one choice for the areas many superb dance and theatre schools to showcase their emerging talent.
Burnley Mechanics is situated in Burnley town centre next door to the Town Hall on Manchester Road.
For more information on car parking please click below for a town centre parking map.
Please note that there is a car park to the rear of Burnley Mechanics Theatre. This car park is contract only, Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm and cannot be used by the public during these times. Outside of these hours, public parking is permitted, and a pay and display system is in place for Saturday’s between the hours of 8am and 9pm.
Burnley Mechanics welcomes people with disabilities. Assistant Dogs can accompany their owners, and water will be provided. A Textphone service is available on 01282 425011. The Fire Authorities advise that all wheelchair patrons remain in their wheelchairs throughout any performance, and as such, transferring from a wheelchair to a regular seat is not permitted. Able bodied companions will be requested to assist should an emergency evacuation arise. If you use a wheelchair it is vitally important that you inform the Box Office at time of booking as our licensing regulations allow for two wheelchair users per event. Wheelchair spaces are situated on row ‘A’ of the front stalls. Burnley Mechanics operate a free ticket for essential carer’s policy. Please check with Box Office for details as conditions apply.
Concessions and Babes in Arms
All theatre performances are not recommended for children under 2 years of age. Burnley Mechanics reserves the right to ask parents to leave the performance space if they are causing a disturbance.
Accessibility inside the building
Our front room, lounge bar, theatre bar, loft and basement studio are completely accessible for visitors with disabilities. A lift to the first and second floor can be accessed via the Lounge Bar. The Basement Studio has its own ramped access at the back of the building.
With the need to evacuate using the goods lift and/or an evacuation chair in an emergency, we can accommodate up to 2 wheelchair patrons in the main auditorium/theatre bar, and 1 wheelchair patron in the loft; this is directly informed by our risk assessment and agreed evacuation procedure with the fire authorities that details our duty of care to both our patrons and staff. We can be more flexible with numbers in the front room, lounge bar and basement studio due to the exit onto street level.
Any patron requiring an essential companion to attend the theatre to ensure their safe exit in an emergency evacuation needs to be incorporated into the fire risk assessment, therefore up to four spaces will be allocated (in addition to the wheelchair allocation) next to the wheelchair spaces both in the theatre and loft.
A passenger lift is available from the main foyer level to the auditorium and The Loft; the maximum capacity is 8 persons.
Please note, the lift can only accommodate one wheelchair patron and carer at any one time.
Hard of hearing
There is an induction loop system in the main theatre; this is accessed by putting a hearing aid to the ‘T’ switch. The most effective areas for operation are, in the raised tier using seats 20-23 on rows F-T, and in the flat stalls using seats 22-25 on rows C-E. Alternatively, the next best areas are seats 1-5 (tier and stalls) on the other side of the theatre. Seats in the centre section should not be used.
Access to the building from the outside
There is a ramp at the Manchester Road entrance, and two lifts; one from ground floor level to the rear of the building, and one from main foyer to the auditorium and the The Loft. Please call the box office to arrange assistance prior to your visit. There is a gradient from the car park to the theatre entrance on Yorke street; should you foresee needing assistance with this, please inform the box office.
Box office opening times
Tickets can be booked in person and over the phone from the box office during our opening hours
Monday – Friday 11am to 4pm
Saturday 11am to 2pm.
No booking fees apply at the box office
For ease and convenience book online*
* £2 per ticket booking fee applies to all sales booked from the website.
Please note: Tickets cannot be exchanged, replaced or refunded and all tickets sent via post will be sent to the card holders address only. £1 fee applicable.
A helping hand
Essential Companion Tickets For selected performances there is a limited allocation of tickets available for essential companions accompanying wheelchair users, the registered blind or patrons receiving Department of working Pensions, Enhanced Personal Independence Payments (PIPs). These are allocated on a first come first served basis and proof of eligibility will be required.
Please do not be offended if we ask for documentary evidence to show eligibility.
Eligibility requirements: • Evidence showing that you receive the enhanced rate of Personal Independence Payment. • You will need to sit in the allocated spaces as they are placed directly next to the exit that leads to the disabled refuge. These are limited and will be booked on a first come first served basis. • We require wheelchair users to stay in their wheelchairs next to their able bodied companion throughout the event to ensure safe evacuation in an emergency. • The able bodied companion will be requested to assist should an emergency evacuation arise, therefore must be over the age of 16. Please ask about Essential Companion tickets when booking. Some events will be exempt such as events where the ticket price includes food and/or drink etc (i.e. theatre-dinners, private hires). Burnley Mechanics has a volunteering scheme so may be able to provide an assistant for those wanting to attend a concert alone, advance booking is essential, and we cannot guarantee the availability of our volunteers.
Fire and Emergency In the event of emergency, all essential carers are required to work with trained staff to facilitate a safe evacuation. Trained staff will inform and guide essential carers in terms of where to go.
We want to make Burnley Mechanics accessible to as many people as possible; we have dementia friendly signage installed to support our customers visiting the Mechanics to get around the building. Our events can be very busy, bright, noisy or dark, so if a quiet space is needed, we will do our best to accommodate this and recommend shows that may be suitable to different customers’ needs.
There is always a Dementia friend on duty, please speak to a member of staff if support is required.
Pre-show visits If you or any of your party has a condition that would benefit from a visit to Burnley Mechanics prior to a performance you are attending, we will do our best to accommodate such requests.
Burnley Mechanics Theatre
Burnley BB11 1BH
Spectacular, bespoke events to wow your guests
Whether you’re looking for help with the design and organisation of your corporate event, meeting or banquet or a total event production solution, our bespoke events experts and in-house technical professionals will ensure your event is a success.
We have a range of fantastic spaces in the building available for hire (see below). You can also call us to discuss your requirements on 01282 664400.
Click on the venues below to view each in more detail:
The Auditorium is Burnley’s largest permanent performance space with a standing capacity of 700. Seated in a traditional style the theatre capacity is 495. The beauty of our Auditorium is that it can be transformed at the touch of a button from a traditional tiered theatre to an amazing blank canvass, all thanks to our electronic seating. We can cater for literally anything.
Our dedicated marketing and PR team will assist you with all aspects of promoting your show in the run up to the performance. We produce approximately 18,000 venue brochures twice per year, delivering them to our established customer database, high footfall public areas and businesses in the local area and ensure high visibility in the building. Our e-brochure is available to download on our website. You will also benefit from regular targeted e-shots to our electronic database or more than 8,000 previous bookers and slots in our regular print/radio advertising schedule with local media. We’ll support you with regular press releases and poster/leaflet distribution to ensure your event gets maximum exposure and send you weekly email updates to help you keep track of sales figures and revenue generated.
Dance and Theatre Schools
We’re incredibly proud to be partnered with dance schools, local theatre companies, craft groups and societies offering a range of professional an
d amateur performances throughout the season.
Click on a school below to visit their website:
- Sanderson’s Dance and Fitness Centre
- Valley Academy School of MusicalTheatre and Dance
- Dansworks Dance Academy
- Rossendale Dance & Drama Centre
- Lynn McCheyne of Sanderson’s Dance
- Theatre Works Dance School
- Blessed Trinity RC College Dance Academy
- Burnley Schools Gotta Sing and Dance Shows
- Next Level Dance Studio
We’re incredibly proud to be partnered with local groups and societies offering a range of professional and amateur performances throughout the season.
Click on the societies below to find out more:
- Burnley Pantomime Society
- Burnley Light Opera Society
- Sanderson’s Dance and Fitness Centre
- Valley Academy School of Musical Theatre and Dance
- Dansworks Dance Academy
Full technical support from our experienced team
Burnley Mechanics is a modern multi-purpose venue equipped with retractable/removable seating and excellent lighting and sound facilities (Auditorium). Our fully trained and experienced Technical Team are able to provide full technical support from small-scale meetings to major auditorium events.
The Lounge Bar is now a modern, vibrant space with sumptuous leather sofas, low lighting and a warm, relaxed feel. The Bar features a Steinway Grand Piano and we invite local pianists to play and we’ve introduced an art gallery display wall featuring work by talented local artist’s.
Colin Sanderson Theatre Bar
The Colin Sanderson Bar opens one hour before every performance, during an interval and throughout a standing music performance.
At the family-friendly 1855 Kitchen & Bar you can enjoy a drink or a bite to eat in The Front Room or cosy Lounge Bar.
The ever popular 1855 Kitchen & Bar opens two hours prior to most performances. Due to the high demand, reservations are essential. To reserve a table please call 01282 664400 or email email@example.com.
The atmosphere along with fresh food prepared on site by our chefs allows you to sit back and thoroughly enjoy the evening ahead.
If you’re in a group of 8 or more and would like to reserve a table for pre theatre dining you will be required to complete a pre-order form.
A History of Burnley Mechanics
Designed by Architect James Green of Todmorden, Burnley Mechanics opened its doors in 1855 as a shining example of the Mechanics Movement. It aimed to provide better education and skills for the rapidly expanding workforce to meet the needs of a changing society during the industrial revolution. Local people flocked to the venue to enjoy classes in arts, science and technology and Burnley Mechanics became the focus of the town’s cultural activity.
As a result of changing social and economic patterns the original Mechanics Institute closed in 1959. In the early 1960’s the building was purchased by Burnley Council and Burnley Mechanics took on a new role as an entertainment venue, hosting famous performers, including a young singer called Tom Jones. For the next 18 years, the building had a variety of uses from concerts to ballroom to bingo club, finally closing for extensive refurbishment in 1979.
Burnley Mechanics was re-opened in 1986 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth as the town’s premier entertainments venue and in the years that have followed the Mechanics have hosted some of the world’s finest talent from all realms of the performing arts including the highly acclaimed Burnley International Blues Festival which helps to ensure its international status as a unique and bustling venue.
Burnley Mechanics is a tribute to the people of Burnley, people who backed the rebirth when it was most needed and have supported the arts and entertainments so well throughout its history.
Burnley Mechanics Conservation Statement
Below is an online version of The Burnley Mechanics Conservation Statement; this is a Heritage Lottery funded research project that plots our 160 year history and explores our significance both architecturally as a Grade 2 star listed building and within the mechanics movement as a whole. The purpose of the plan is to help us conserve, enhance and investigate opportunities for the future but you’ll probably enjoy browsing through the old plans and photographs and learning a little more about our past.