1964 - 1981 Big Tents

Before Plymouth’s new civic theatre, the Theatre Royal, opened in 1982, theatrical productions were staged in a very large tent, otherwise known as a Cinerama or Theatrama.  It was erected for the summer season in most years from 1964 onwards on the hard standing at Higher Home Park between the Mayflower stand and Gilbert Lane.

The steel girder framework of the Cinerama erected in 1964, ready to take the plastic-treated canvas walls and roof.  The building behind is the quarantine house for the zoo.
Western Morning News 14th June 1964. (The Box accession reference 2732/22)  

The last productions to be staged like this were by the Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet when they visited between 21st September and 10th October 1981.  There was seating for 1,200 people, or just 100 fewer than the main auditorium in the Theatre Royal holds.   

The circus has continued as a regular visitor to Central Park with its own big top. 

Circus Extreme’s big top on the Events Field, September 2021. (Andrew Young)