Cooke’s Circus was build on the corner of Mount Street and Peter Street in Manchester in 1842. It wasn’t the first visit of the Cooke Family as on the 26th and 27th December 1817, Bannister and Cooke’s celebrated equestrian troop and a variety of other attractions appeared at the Olympic Circus, Minor Theatre and in 1834 Mr. Cooke informed the inhabitants of Manchester that his circus would open on 15th September as the Royal Circus, Stevenson’s Square, Lever Street.
The circus was briefly used as a theater after Manchester’s Theatre Royal (Fountain Str.) had burned down. The Theatre opened in June 1844, but in 1845 the venue was back in use as Cooke’s Circus. The collection of the Ringling museum has the following wonderful circus bill from 1845 from this circus building. Copyright: Tibbals Circus Collection
The website arthurlloyd.co.uk says the building was demolished some time after 1850. However on the website of Music Hall Alice an article is written about an artiste which reads the following “In August 1884 a series of advertisements were placed in theatrical newspapers announcing the imminent arrival of my great great grandmother, Ada Isaacs, from the United States for the Winter circus season. The Mazeppa, the female jester, the twice married but not twice divorced ‘Ada Isaacs’ was back in town. She opened in the first week of November at Cooke’s Circus in Manchester.”
The Cooke’s Circus also operated a building in Edinburgh which ceased its circus practices in 1908 to be converted into a cinema. Combined with the article on Ada Isaacs it is more likely that the Cooke’s stopped using their Manchester Circus towards somewhere between 1884 and the early 1900’s.
23 Peter Street
Manchester M2 5QR
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