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Coventry residents invited to travel back in time with Coventry on TV, the latest event from the Ghost Town TV archives project

Coventry residents will be able to travel back in time thanks to an exclusive compilation of archive TV news and other documentary footage, brought together by researchers at the University of Warwick, and on show for three days in the city centre.

Theatre Absolute’s Shop Front Theatre in City Arcade will host the unique newsreel from Thursday 14 April until Saturday 16th.

Members of the public are welcome to drop in and enjoy memorable Coventry TV moments, mainly from ATV News bulletins in the 1970s and 80s. The clips and stories have been selected from the Media Archive for Central England (MACE).

steel bands 1980The showreel will be around two hours long but visitors will be free to drop in and out.

Much of what will be shown is from the ATV Midlands News archive. ATV had one of the first daily regional news services on British television, providing news bulletins from 1968 until 1982. Footage will include news reports on arts and culture, celebrity visits to the city, race relations, Coventry’s industries and its sporting history.

There will also be vox pops and voices of Coventry people giving their thoughts on the issues of the day.

The event is a follow-up to the popular 2018 exhibition, ‘Remembering Coventry: Ghost Town Haunting 1’ also hosted by Shop Front Theatre.

The Ghost Town project, led by Professor Helen Wheatley of the University’s Centre for Television Histories, used television to reconnect people with their local history and inspire further conversations about the city’s past, present and future in the run-up to Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture.

The exhibition has been organised by the University of Warwick’s Centre for Television Histories working with MACE.

Helen Wheatley, Professor in Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick, said:

“We’re delighted to be bringing the Ghost Town project back to the Shopfront Theatre this month.Coventry FC 1967

“People in Coventry may have attended other events organised by the Centre for Television Histories which have brought historic programming out of the archive and screened it all around the city to inspire conversations about the past, present and future of Coventry.

“At our last exhibition at the Shopfront Theatre in 2018, visitors came along and found family, friends and even themselves in our screenings. This was an incredibly moving experience for some, who came into contact with lost loved ones or their younger selves.

“We’re looking forward to hearing people’s stories and sharing some wonderful Coventry finds from the archive.”

Julia Negus from Theatre Absolute said: "We are really looking forward to hosting Coventry on TV. It's wonderful to have our Shop Front Theatre doors open to the public again. Do come down to City Arcade, stay awhile and enjoy seeing Coventry on the screen."

  • This is a drop-in event so pre-booking isn’t required.
  • It is a free event
  • The Shop Front Theatre is step free and wheelchair accessible and there is an accessible toilet.

7 April 2022


This project is organised by University of Warwick's Centre for Television Histories in the School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures. It is funded by the University of Warwick Humanities Research Fund, an Institute for Advanced Studies Award, the Media Archive for Central England (MACE) and Film and Television Studies.


Where: Shop Front Theatre, 38 City Arcade, Coventry CV1 3HW


Thursday 14th April: 1-4pm

Friday 15th April: 11am-4pm

Saturday 16th April: 11am-4pm


Sheila Kiggins

Media Relations Manager

University of Warwick

07876 218166