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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

1894

Temporary Circus building, Pool Meadow

Date(s)ShowNotesImages
Mon 1st Jan until Sat 6th Jan 1894Charlie Keith's CircusErno "Walking in the Air". The Great Lady Riders.
Mon 8th Jan until Sat 13th Jan 1894Charlie Keith's CircusDe Wynne, the Marvellous Juggler. The Shadowgraphist. The Finger Talker. Jackels, the Eiffel Column Climber. Wibble Wobbles, the Comic Clown. Erno, the Man Walking in the Air.
Mon 15th Jan until Sat 20th Jan 1894Charlie Keith's Circuslizzie Vaidis, the Greatest Lady Gymnast in the World. Plus Riders, Clowns, and New Specialities.
Mon 22nd Jan until Sat 27th Jan 1894Charlie Keith's CircusCharming Spectacle, Cinderella, played by 60 children of Coventry. Wednesday, Trotting Match.
Mon 29th Jan until Sat 3rd Feb 1894Charlie Keith's CircusLeopold Leglere Troupe, the Grandest Acrobats in England. Plus, for an extra week, Cinderella.
Mon 5th Feb until Sat 10th Feb 1894Charlie Keith's CircusLeotard, the Clever Versatile Brothers, in their Aerial Arab Tumbling and Enchanted Staircase. Cyrus and Maude, Musical Grotesques. Last week of Cinderella.
Mon 12th Feb until Sat 17th Feb 1894Charlie Keith's CircusLeicester Alfred Cooke in his Great Jockey Act. Frank Pirung, the Pedal Equilibristic Dancer. Bros. Leotard. Saturday, Bicycle Contest. Monday, Water Carnival.
Mon 19th Feb until Sat 24th Feb 1894Charlie Keith's CircusWater Carnival - 50 tons of real water rush into the circus ring, with Boats, Steamers and Live Ducks. Winino, Lady Shootist. Learto, Continental Musical Droll. Leicester Alfred Cooke the Great Jockey Rider.
Mon 26th Feb until Sat 3rd Mar 1894Charlie Keith's CircusWater Carnival, plus New Riders, Clowns, Gymnasts, Horses.
Mon 5th Mar until Sat 10th Mar 1894Charlie Keith's CircusGrand Scottish Spectacle, Bonnie Scotland, with 70 Coventry children. Wednesday, Amateur Riding Contest - £5 to the best amateur.
Mon 12th Mar until Sat 17th Mar 1894Charlie Keith's CircusFinal Week. Bonnie Scotland, Riders Clowns, Amateur Riding Contest. Wednesday, Benefit of Charlie Keith. Silver Watch to the Prettiest Lady in Coventry. Saturday, Last day - A Live Fat Pig given away. Sadly, Mr. Charlie Keith died shortly after the circus run, and was buried in Southport on the 23rd March.

Prev year: 1893   Next year: 1895

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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