The olympia, Just up the road from the Riddler.
The olympia theatre is one of the favorite venues in dublin to see a gig. Its interior gives an old 90s vibe with red seats and curtains as well as a decorative stylish skirting around the edge of the upper seats. With a 90’s twist mixed with a modern theme this old theatre is a perfect venue for a small classy gig with a beer and a couple of mates! We are just an 8 minute walk up the road from the Olympia and the Riddler would be a perfect stop off on the way to a show or for a late meal on the way home. So bring your mates, your parents, your nan or even your ex..bring everyone!
The old theatre has been located on dame street since 1879. An architect by the name of dan lowry who was famous for some of his buildings in the UK decided to bring his designs to dublin and made the olympia a place of entertainment for Dublin’s residents. It was first named Dan Lowrey’s ‘Star of Erin Music Hall’, the name changed a few times before the building had a significant makeover in 1897, closing as a Music Hall, and re-opening as a theatre, ‘The Empire Palace’. With these changes the nature of the entertainment in the the venue changed through the Great War, the Easter Rising, and the dissolution of the large Moss-Stoll theatre empire, as the entertainment industry changed significantly in Ireland and the UK.
In 1923, the venue had yet another re-invention, this time emerging as what we know it to be now, The Olympia Theatre which presented drama, opera, ballet, as well as films, oratorio, and pantomime. In the early 1960s two London Irish business men bought the building and the land around it. A contract was in place for the building to be knocked down and made into apartment blocks, but a theatre producer active in Dublin at the time, made contact with these new owners and secured a lease on the building, forming a new company called Olympia Productions Limited. Thank god.
On the 5th of November 1974, disaster struck when, during a rehearsal break prior to the opening night of a production of West Side Story, the proscenium arch of the theatre across the width of the stage collapsed and the roof fell in. Sadly the theatre remained closed for nearly two and a half years. Thanks to Dublin City Council, the Dublin people and members of the Irish theatre community, but especially the tenacious efforts of the Board of Olympia Productions and the staff, led by Dr Brendan Smith, the theatre was reopened on 14th March 1977.
This legendary irish theatre has seen acts such as David Bowie, Adele, REM, Mumford & Sons, Kings Of Leon, Michael Buble, The Script, Blur, Fall out boy, Snow Patrol, Bryan Adams, Muse, Foo Fighters, Kodaline, Radiohead, Morrissey, Arcade Fire, Florence & The Machine, Hozier, The Killers, and much more, all of whom chose the relatively small venue to host shows here when they could have sold out large arenas. That really goes to show you just how special and unique the venue is.
The venue consists of the main atrium with three different levels. At the very top we’ve got the Upper Circle, the mid level is the Circle, and the ground floor area is called the Stalls. It also has 4 separate bars to quench your thirst before any show. They have also got a concession stand as well as a place to pick up some merchandise from your favorite artist! Well worth a gig in this gorgeous venue accompanied by an early bird dinner here at the Riddler! Full menu is up on our website above. We’ll see you soon!