Date of closure: Circa 1990
Address (for reference only):
Bethnal Green Road
At the moment we do not have details of the events that led up to, or any of the circumstances surrounding the closure of Essoldo Bingo Bethnal Green, but we do know a bit about about the venue’s history.
The Essoldo opened in 1913 as an independent under the name Smart’s Picture House with seating for over 800 patrons. There were two dressing rooms, so the venue was also equipped for live performances. In 1938 renowned cinema architect George Coles redesigned the facade and created the one we can see in the picture below.
The interior was also changed to an Art Deco style which included ceiling and wall alterations. After the refurbishment it opened as the Rex Cinema and lasted 11 years until it was taken over in 1949 by the Essoldo chain. The Essoldo Cinema closed in 1964, and converted into a bingo hall which closed in 1990. The building still stands, and now a soft furnishings outlet.
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Other Lost Halls In The Area
Essoldo Bingo hall retained many of the original Art Deco features installed by architect George Coles, although the strip lighting we see below probably came with the conversion of the cinema to bingo. It was a small cinema, but despite the unique exterior facade, the interior was not as grand or ornate as some of the earlier theatres and cinemas. The exterior was renovated in 2005, and we’ve been informed that although the foyer has been stripped, and apart from the rear of the auditorium which is now an office, the auditorium itself remains relatively intact. The ceiling detail is a nice shot showing a good example of early thirties ceiling plasterwork, and the proscenium shots show simple, but strong Art Deco design. Images courtesy of Charles S.P. Jenkins.
If you have any photos from this lost hall, be it of its interior, the staff, special events, parties, customers and more; and you’d like to share them here, please contact us to arrange adding them to the site.