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The Hippodrome closed in 1962, re-modelled, then the ABC Theatre opened on the 31st of May 1963 with the summer season stage show “Holiday Carnival” starring Cliff Richard and The Shadows.
Holiday Carnival – Summer Season show 1963
Cliff Richard, The Shadows, Norman Collier, Ugo Garrido, Arthur Worsley and Carole Gray
Holiday Startime – Summer Season show 1964
Frank Ifield, Kathy Kirby, Ted Rogers, Neville King, The Medifreds, Johnny Hawkins and his Orchestra, The Raindrops and The Modern Jazz Dancers
The Morecambe and Wise Show – Summer Season show 1965
Morecambe and Wise, Mark Wynter, The Alfrero, The Hermanis and Anna Dawson
Holiday Startime – Summer Season show 1966
The Bachelors, Cilla Black, Frank Berry, Mrs Mills, Ray Fell and Freddy Davies
Holiday Startime – Summer Season show 1967
Frank Ifield, Jimmy Tarbuck, Audrey Jeans, Tanya and The Barron Knights
Holiday Startime – Summer Season show 1968
Engelbert Humperdinck, Ted Rogers, Jimmy Marshall and The Pamela Devis Dancers
Holiday Startime – Summer Season show 1969
Cilla Black, Roy Castle, Arthur Worsley, Tom Ward and Tony Cawley
The Tommy Steele Show – Summer Season show 1970
Tommy Steele, Mary Hopkin, Billy Dainty, Eric Brenn and The Pamela Devis dancers
Holiday Startime – Summer Season show 1971
Jimmy Tarbuck, Kenneth McKellar, Schaller Brothers and Pamela Devis Dancers
Holiday Startime – Summer Season Show 1972
Lovelace Watkins, Ted Rogers, Arthur Worsley, Clark Brothers and The Rockin’ Berries
Holiday Startime – Summer Season show 1973
Mike Yarwood, Robert Young, Basil Brush, Johnny Hart and Louisa Jane White
Grayson’s Scandals – Summer Season show 1974
Larry Grayson, The Kaye Sisters, Keith Harris, The Fredianis and Larry Parker
The Mike and Bernie Winters Show – Summer Season show 1975
Clodagh Rodgers, Roger Kitter, Cool breeze, Del Derrick and Dorrien Lewis
The Dick Emery Show – Summer Season show 1976
Bert Weedon, Los Zafiros, Ken Wood, Len Lowe, Lesley Arden and Maz J. Francis.
Holiday Startime – Summer Season show 1977
Les Dawson, Kenneth McKellar, The Sunshine Girls, Bobby Bennett and Jumping Jack
Holiday Startime – Summer Season show 1978
The Bachelors, Billy Dainty, The Nolan Sisters, Joe Church, The Mosaics and Dick Franco (addendum
included in programme announcing programme alteration – Nino Frediani to appear in the show from 30th June until 15th July in place of Dick Franco
An Evening with Tommy Steele – Summer Season show 1979
Chick Hicks, The Dynamic Steelmen, Don Q and his Wonder Horse and Lady and Tramp
Fancy Free – Summer Season Show 1980
John Inman, Moira Anderson, Bobby Crush, Dawson Chance and Los Gauchos.
The final summer season show was in 1980 starring John Inman in ‘Fancy Free’.
It was one of the few theatres in Britain to have a permanent revolving stage and the last live show took place in December 1980.
The ABC was closed for conversion into a triple screen cinema in January 1981, completely ruining a fine modern theatre. The ABC Cinema opened on Thursday 30th April 1981, the first three films being, Private Benjamin (1), Ordinary People (2), and The Long Good Friday (3). The capacities were 728, 323 and 220.
No more stage shows were possible after the tripling, although the old revolving stage and safety curtain remained unused behind the conversion and was used for storage.
View other ABC Summer Season Programmes