Shows included equestrian acts, elephants and polar bears, and acrobats who would dive into a 100,000 gallon water tank from the Minstrel Gallery above.
In 1910, Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake’ received its English première here and in 1919, the Hippodrome hosted the first official jazz gig in the United Kingdom, by the ‘Original Dixieland Jazz Band’.
In 1958, the original interior was demolished and the London Hippodrome was converted into a nightclub. ‘The Talk of the Town’ featured many of the popular artists of the time, including Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder, but by 1982 this form of entertainment had fallen out of public favour and the venue closed.
In 1983, it was renovated yet again and reopened as a nightclub/restaurant by Peter Stringfellow, but after selling it some years later the club went out of fashion and it wasn't until April 2004 that the Hippodrome regained its standing when it was transformed into ‘Cirque at the Hippodrome’, with Burlesque as the theme.
In December 2005, the club was forced to close, following reports of violence involving rival gangs.
In 2009, the Hippodrome underwent an extensive restoration programme. Returned to its original splendour, the venue opened on July 13, 2012, with four floors for gaming including a Gold Room casino sited in the original basementwith access directly into Chinatown to the rear of the building, the Heliot restaurant, six bars, a smoking terrace and The Matcham Room cabaret theatre… home to
Sadie and the Hotheads for three Thursdays in November…we arrive from all over London and beyond, some by train and bus, some in taxis and some by car… set up and soundchecked we settle down in the Heliot restaurant for a meal… appearing on stage at 9pm… hope to see you there for the end of the run this Thursday, the 28th.