The Princes Theatre and The Coliseum

The Princes Theatre was a pleasure centre for dancing. It was in Park Row. They used to put on pantos there. I was one of the Elvettes and danced there.

It was like the Hippodrome but posher.

I saw Puss in Boots, Cinderella and Midsummer Nights Dream.

Olive P
It was a high day and holiday when you took the children there.

I was an angel at The Princes. I used to have long blonde hair, I think that’s why I was chosen. Before the performance I had it all Marcel waved. When I arrived at the theatre they said angels don’t have waves in their hair like that and they brushed them all out.

My grandfather was in the odd or old fellows. They used to take all the kids to see the panto. We used to sit in the Gods – couldn’t hear a thing. Afterwards we’d go to a restaurant – we loved it.

The Coliseum

The Coliseum was opposite the Princes Theatre. It was also bombed. It had ice skating and dancing. It was bombed the same night as the Princes Theatre.

The Coliseum was a big skating rink. I saw a panto and an ice show there. At one time (during the war) Parnells used to assemble aircraft there and then take them by lorry out to Yate. It was a very big building with a balcony all the way round that you could look down from.

See The Princes Theatre on the walking trail