London – Mecca Bingo Islington – Essex Road

This Club Is Closed Or Demolished
  • Photograph by: Martin Tapsell - Exterior of the now closed London, Islington Mecca Bingo - Essex Road

Date of closure: 25th March 2007

Address (for reference only):

Mecca Bingo
Essex Road
N1 2SN

Mecca Bingo in Islington had an impressive run of almost 35 years before it closed in 2007, which was a pretty grim year for bingo halls across the country with many closing, and many more being hit hard by taxation and the smoking ban. Even local politicians wrote to Mecca Bingo, and pleaded with them not to close the club in anticipation of the effects of the smoking ban, but Mecca had obviously done their maths, and had seen what the ban had done to halls in Scotland, and so decided to cut their losses. The club was located in the old Carlton Cinema which was, and still is a rather fetching building. Designed by George Coles, and opening in 1930, the interior had an Egyptian theme, as did the outside, and several other stylistic influences pervaded throughout the rest of the building. (Past tense is being used here, as we are not sure exactly how much of the original features remain intact).

ABC Cinemas took over in 1935 – they must have had a very busy year, as this was not the only cinema that they took over. The last film shown was “On The Buses”, before the cinema closed down. The premises have since been bought by a church who are planning to reopen the cinema, and hopefully they find it in their hearts to welcome the local community back for bingo.

By Gareth Whieldon (July 2010)

2 thoughts on “London – Mecca Bingo Islington – Essex Road

  1. 30 years ago I worked in the Essex road bingo hall. I lived with my uncle in the thatched cottage pub just up the road. All of life was there.

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