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Hippodrome / Coventry Theatre / Apollo show archive

An attempt to list all the shows ever performed at our Hippodromes, beginning with the temporary circus buildings, which from 1884 were specially erected on Pool Meadow for each visit - then, in 1903, to the first permanent, but short-lived, 'Tin' Hippodrome on the Priory Street side of Pool Meadow facing the old Swimming Baths. The popularity of these shows created the demand for a theatre worthy of our city, and so in 1906 began the construction in Hales Street, next to Swanswell Gate, of what we now regard as the Old Hippodrome.
Again, the success of this theatre meant that barely three decades later a greater capacity was required, and so we come to our lovely art-deco New Hippodrome in Hales Street, once known as the Showplace of the Midlands. Opening on the 1st November 1937, it was renamed Coventry Theatre in 1955, then from 1979 became The Apollo, giving its final performance in June 1985. After a short spell as a bingo hall it was eventually realised that such a building could not be put to any practical use, so, sadly, it was demolished in 2002. If anyone still has any tickets or programmes and would like to see them used to illustrate a show, please contact me.



1884 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985

1888

Temporary Circus building, Pool Meadow

Date(s)ShowNotesImages
Mon 9th Jan until Sat 14th Jan 1888Transfield's Royal CircusNew programme after the "Tremendous success of the Grand Opening, Everybody Delighted, the Talk of the Town". Alvanti, the King of the Air, plus horses, pigeons and greyhounds. Plus Lome and Elba for one week only, the wonderous Flying Trapeze artistes. Funny Clowns.
Mon 16th Jan until Sat 21st Jan 1888Transfield's Royal CircusMr. Henry's Royal Performing Elephant, "Sheriffe". Olive and Gerrard, Royal Grotesques and Leg Mania Artistes, plus more. Thursday - Benefit for the Coventry Philanthropic Institution.
Mon 23rd Jan until Sat 28th Jan 1888Transfield's Royal CircusEquestrian Spectacle, Fra Diavolo, plus new trick by the Clowns.
Mon 30th Jan until Sat 4th Feb 1888Transfield's Royal CircusFirst appearance of Mr. Alfred Clarke, England's great Somersault Rider, and Letta & Artoy, Equilibrists, Jugglers and Clowns,
Mon 6th Feb until Sat 18th Feb 1888Transfield's Royal CircusFirst appearance of Buffaloe Frisco, the Great Backward Shot. Plus Storelli the Musical Clown, Alfred Clarke the English Jockey, Artoy the Great Juggler, Letta the Wonder. On Friday and Saturday, Jen Carney and A. Diamond - Boxing Exhibition.
Mon 20th Feb until Sat 25th Feb 1888Transfield's Royal CircusHoltom, King of the Cannon Ball, and Mddle. Anna and her Troupe of Performing Dogs. Little Pickles.
Mon 27th Feb until Sat 3rd Mar 1888Transfield's Royal CircusNestor and Aerian the World's Greatest Gymnasts, Miss Alice Welby Cook the Dashing Equestrienne, Clarence Welby Cook the Fearless Horseman, plus the Brothers Volbecque.
Mon 5th Mar until Sat 10th Mar 1888Transfield's Royal CircusW. G. Hurst, the kIng of the Wheel, plus Monster Programme.
Mon 12th Mar until Sat 24th Mar 1888Transfield's Royal CircusHector & Faue, Great Acrobats. Master Cole, Trick Rider. Miss Florence Transfield the Dashing Equestrienne and Frank Jennings, Jockey Rider. On the 23rd, Farewell Benefit of Harry Hemfry, Manager.
Mon 26th Mar until Wed 28th Mar 1888Transfield's Royal CircusRiggs of Briggs, by the company of Horton and Linder. Valdo, King of Clowns.
Thu 29th Mar 1888Transfield's Royal CircusBenefit of Talented Jennings Family. Equestrian Spectacle "Dick Turpin's Ride to York, and Death of Bonny Black Bess.
Fri 30th Mar 1888Transfield's Royal CircusEquestrian Spectacle "Dick Turpin's Ride to York, and Death of Bonny Black Bess.
Sat 31st Mar until Sat 7th Apr 1888Transfield's Royal CircusLast few nights of the Circus - Great and Special Programme each night this week, including Zelleto, Onreto and Zelvardo, the Greatest Living Artistes, in their thrilling Mid-Air Flights. The Circus was hoping for a fortnight's extension, but the Market Hall Committee turned it down without giving reason. As previously, an auction to sell the "well-seasoned Timber" took place, on the 1st May.

Prev year: 1887   Next year: 1889

1884 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985



Also of interest might be A short history of Coventry's Theatres and Cinemas, by Bill Birch.

 
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