Date of closure: 1st November 2015
Address (for reference only):
Hornchurch Mecca Bingo was located in the premises of an old cinema and offered players the opportunity to play bingo everyday, afternoon and evening until it closed in November 2015. Prior to its life as a bingo hall the premises had been used as a cinema, opened in 1935 under the name the ‘Towers Cinema’. It also catered for variety acts, and previously had a stage and dressing room, as well as a ballroom, and was a reasonably sized entertainment venue. After a couple of takeovers it settled with the name Odeon in 1950, which was taken over in 1973 by Top Rank, who converted it into a bingo hall.
The clubs last session was held on the evening of the 1st of November 2015. According to reports almost 700 people attended for one last game in the colourful bingo hall. With threats of closure and demolition in recent times, the club was purchased by the supermarket chain Lidl. At the time of writing demolition has been halted following requests from a resident and the Cinema Theatre Association that the building be given listed status. Lidl now need to seek planning permission before demolishing the building in the light of the pending listed status. Its future is not guaranteed though, so demolition is still on the cards for the building.
Read about the last night at the club here.
Update: The application for Listed Status has failed, so the building is awaiting demolition. Read more here.
By David Lloyd (November 2015)
Update: Despite protests from hundreds of local residents the building is going to be demolished in September 2017. The local planning committee is allowing site owners Lidl to knock the building down and replace it with a discount store.
By Gareth Whieldon (April 2017)