The pre-revolutionary history of the circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard from Glavarchiv

October 25

141 years ago, on October 20, 1880, the circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard opened its doors to audiences. At the time, it had five rows of chairs, seats in boxes and the dress circle, wooden unnumbered benches and the standing gallery. The Main Archive Fund contains materials of the pre-revolutionary history of the Moscow circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard.

The circus building designed by architect August Weber was constructed at the expense of gold mining entrepreneur Alexander Danilov, a great lover of circus performances. Subsequently, the circus was rebuilt and reconstructed more than once, but it was always a house for the circus art.

The founder of the circus and hereditary circus artist Albert Salamonsky, performed at the premiere show himself. It was he who created the atmosphere of joy and happiness that still reigns in the Nikulin circus now.

Salamonsky participated in circus performances as a rider, equestrian acrobat, horse trainer and actor. The performer's innovation was children's holidays held in the circus. Morning performances with gifts and pantomimes were specially arranged for young Muscovites.

Horse racing with riders in costumes of different eras was a great success with the Salamonsky Circus audience, as well as with than of main competitor — the Nikitin Brothers Circus on Bolshaya Sadovaya street. Performances of gymnasts, equilibrists and tamers were also impressive. The Glavarchiv still keeps the circus posters of that time.

The most famous stars of the early 20th century performed in the circus arena. Among them are clowns Anatoly and Vladimir Durov with their horses, jockeys Vasily Sobolevsky and Herbert Cook, jumpers the Sosins, equilibrists sisters Koch and many others. Besides, the circus had its own orchestra directed by kapellmeister Rudolf.

After Albert Salamonsky died in 1913, the popularity of the circus was gradually declining.

But as early as 1919 the circus was nationalized and became the first Soviet State Circus. A new repertoire emerged, where poet Vladimir Mayakovsky took part who wrote gags for famous clown-satirist Vitaly Lazarenko.

Currently, the Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard is still very popular with citizens and guests of the capital.


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