Olympia London has enjoyed a colourful history since opening its doors to the public on 26th December 1886. Join us on a journey through 130 years...

1886

Architect Henry Edward Coe’s elevation of Olympia London, showing the 170ft clear span of the roof. 

1886 Henry Edward Coe

1886/7

Olympia London's inaugural event, the ‘Paris Hippodrome’.

Olympia London Paris hippodrome

1888

The First Great Horse Show, later to become Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

International London Horse Show 1886/7

1908

Olympia London hosts the first Ideal Home Show.

First Ideal Home Show

1919

The Cycle and Motor Cycle Show is held at Olympia London.

Cycle and Motor Show 1919.jpg

1923

The New Hall was built (now known as Olympia National). The architect was Joseph Emberton who went on to design...

1930

The Empire Hall (now known as Olympia Central). The building was configured much like a department store, and Emberton later designed Simpson's in Piccadilly.

Olympia London Empire Hall

1947

The British Industries Fair is held at Olympia London and Earls Court.

1949

The National Poultry Show is held at Olympia London with proceeds going to the Force's Help Society and The Animal Health Trust.

1954/5

Olympia London hosted the first boat show in the then named Empire Hall.

Boat Show 1954

1958

The cover of an event listing leaflet, illustrating Olympia London's long affiliation with art and design.

1958

Olympia London hosted the first computer exhibition. The British Electronic Computer Exhibition opened on 28 November in the National Hall.

Electronic Computer Exhibition

1967

Jimi Hendrix, The Animals and a young Pink Floyd play Olympia London. The Who cancelled.

1967

Cruft’s Dog Show held at Olympia London.

1973

Property tycoon Jeffrey Sterling, having bought Earls Court, then successfully bid £11.4 million for Olympia London in March 1973, thereby sewing the seeds of EC&O Venues.

Jeffrey Sterling

1983

Empire Hall relaunched as Olympia Two.

1987

The Olympia London Conference Centre built with dedicated entrance, auditorium and meeting rooms for up to 450 delegates.

Olympia London Conference Centre

2011

£20m investment starts with the new Olympia West, providing two floors of 4000sqm each.

2012

Olympia London celebrates 125 years with specially commissioned works of art. The first was by Rob Ryan, who highlighted the ornate barrel roof and referenced the first event to take place at Olympia London; the Hippodrome Circus in 1886.

125 years of Olympia London

2012

This piece by Peter Blake used archive material from Olympia London show catalogues, posters and adverts.

125 years of Olympia London

2012

Sanna Annukka's work was inspired by venue's location in the heart of London, and its status as an iconic landmark.

125 years of Olympia London

2013

The £30m redevelopment of the venues culminated in a completely rennovated Olympia Central and Olympia Conference Centre. The business rebranded as Olympia London.

2017

Olympia London is purchased by a consortium of investors, led by Deutsche Finance and Yoo Capital. Inspired by the venue’s history and original purpose, their vision for the space will see Olympia London transformed into a world-leading arts, events entertainment and experiential district; to be enjoyed for the next 130 years and beyond…

The next 130 years of Olympia London