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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

1899

Temporary Circus building, Pool Meadow

Date(s)ShowNotesImages
Sat 14th Jan 1899Barnard's New Royal CircusFinal performance with Ashford and Guinard, Comedians.
Mon 6th Mar until Sat 18th Mar 1899Empire CircusOpening with the return of Dr. Walford Bodie, Earth's Greatest Ventriloquist, Hypnotist, Electrician, and Scientist, in his startling bewildering, soul-stirring, marvellous demonstrations. Plus gigantic company of Star Artistes.
Mon 3rd Apr until Sat 8th Apr 1899Pool Meadow CircusGrand Re-Opening for Easter Monday with the Greatest Company of Star Artistes ever seen in Coventry. Directed by Alvo, from Transfield's Circus.
Mon 10th Apr until Sat 29th Apr 1899Pearce Butler's CircusPearce Butler, late of Transfield's Circus, brings a Gigantic Company of Equestrian Novelty Artistes, and a Handsome Stud of Performing Horses and Ponies. Following the circus, the ground was cleared ready for the Annual Fair on Pool Meadow.
Fri 22nd Sep and Sat 23rd Sep 1899Bostock and Wombwell's Royal No.1 MenagerieTheir famous, Old Established show containing Beasts, Birds, Reptiles, Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Russian Bears and Wolves, and performing Pumas. Plus performing Polar Bears and Boxing Kangaroo.
Wed 1st Nov 1899Lord John Sanger & SonsGreat Britain's Largest and Grandest Amusement Institution with the Largest and Grandest Show in the World. Includes Elephant versus Clowns Football Match. Plus Horses, Wild Beasts, and Birds and Animals of every description.

Prev year: 1898   Next year: 1900

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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