Date of closure: 25th March 2007
Address (for reference only):
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.
Other Lost Halls In The Area
We’ve got a full set here of Mecca Islington before it closed down. The first shot of the exterior shows quite an impressive building, which is probably why it hasn’t been demolished. Currently owned by a church, we hope and are sure that the building’s brickwork and other features will be maintained.
The second shot shows the foyer, with what appear to be Art Deco light fittings, and some interesting panel work. The ceiling and coving also appears to be quite detailed, and this must have been quite an impressive cinema/theatre in its day.
The last interior shots show the full vista looking down the hall towards the stage. Of particular note is what must be the original lighting in the balcony recesses at either side of the stage.
By Gareth Whieldon (September 2010)
We just had some more photographs of the old Islington Mecca Bingo by Charles S.P. Jenkins who over the years has spent a lot of time revisiting the UK and photographing old theatres, many of which became bingo halls. The shots below show in detail how truly ornate the exterior of the building was, and will hopefully remain for years to come, as it is quite a landmark.
By Gareth Whieldon (January 2013)
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.