Date of closure: November 2004
Address (for reference only):
Mecca Bingo in Ashburner Street closed in 2004, in a period when many bingo halls were feeling the ‘bite’. Previously a Top Rank Bingo club, it resided in the site of the Odeon Bolton. Quite a large theatre, with a capacity of over 2,500, it opened in 1937, and at its time was the largest Odeon. A lot of effort was put into the design by W. Calder Robson and Harry Weedon, who incorporated a café into the site.
The exterior was an impressive mix of black and green tiles, and cream faiance, with large windows, and a huge neon ‘Odeon’ sign. In its heyday it was extremely popular, and its interior use of decorative fluted walls, and honeycomb grilles alone must have made it worth the admission fee. In the 1960s it underwent a modernisation process which played havoc with the original ‘feel’ of the building, as its interior was split. Unfortunately, despite the obvious cultural worth of the building, it was demolished in 2007, after laying unused for several years. (More below in comments).
By Gareth Whieldon (July 2010)