It must have been one night in December 1956 when I went to see the most important circus show in recent years. It was not just any traveling circus but a contest in which you could see the best of many circuses and which took place in the then brand new Palacio de Deportes de Barcelona (1955). I guess I was accompanied by José, a good friend of the family.
In Barcelona we had regular visits to circuses, I remember Circo Price who always set up his tent in the same place in the center of Barcelona, the Raluy circus continues to offer shows. Just today, I have seen his tent installed in the port. Of course, you don’t hear the roars of wild beasts, and it doesn’t smell like a “circus” anymore.
I was 13 years old and I prepared the family camera, a Leica IIIf with its standard 50mm lens (f: 2.5?) and a 90mm telephoto lens (f: 4?). As I expected the light conditions to be difficult I bought a 27 DIN (400 ISO) Kodak Tri-X film for the first time, I did not know if I would be able to take advantage of any of the photos later.
The show was impressive and I remember the performance of the trapeze artist Pinito del Oro who acted without a net and who was double in the film “Trapeze” from 1956. There were many more performances like clowns and animals some of which are impossible to see today.
I remember it all perfectly, and I want to show you the poster and the program downloaded from the net and of course my photos from that day.
Unfortunately I did not keep the negatives but I have a collection of the photos on 7x10cm paper that I scanned. The original quality was not very good and the paper size and scanning have made it very difficult to get anything particularly presentable, but they still attest to that memorable day
I think I remember that the development and the copies were made by my friend Enrique and I at his house. When we saw the negatives we were scared by the amount of grain that the TriX offered, but it is not so noticeable in copies as small as the ones I have kept.
Here are the photos of Pinito del Oro.
I hope that you have enjoyed this trip to the past and that some of you awaken memories of those shows and the unforgettable smell of circuses.
Thanks for reading.