The fourth Colston Hall was opened in 1951 to mark the Festival of Britain. The commemorative programme states:
“This modern Colston Hall embraces many highly advanced improvements in acoustics, heating, ventilating and general comfort".
Because of musician union disputes no American band had played in the city for 20 years. When Stan Kenton brought his big band to the Colston Hall most local band-leaders cancelled their engagements that night and people came from as far as 80 miles to see him play.
Mary Bridge recalls visiting the hall every weekend when she was growing up in the 1950’s. She recalls one night when the whole audience began chanting, “We want Bill Haley!” Apparently the hall manager came on stage and announced that he hadn’t booked Bill Haley “because they couldn’t behave themselves!”.
Wrestling matches were held at the Colston Hall from 1951 until 2003. Bryan Haynes from Oldham Common in Bristol worked out that the best view for matches was from seats in the house V15 and V16 which he reserved each time. He said, “You could see wonderful characters that would come from all over the country and sometimes the world”.