London – Mecca Bingo Manor Park – High Street North

This Club Is Closed Or Demolished
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  • Exterior of the now closed London, Manor Park Mecca Bingo - High Street North

Date of closure: 1985

Address (for reference only):

Mecca Bingo
High Street North
Manor Park
London
E12 6TH

At the moment we do not have details of the events that led up to, or any of the circumstances surrounding the closure of Mecca Bingo Manor Park. We do however know a bit about the venue’s history.

The venue was originally the rather small, 600 seater Coronation Electric Theatre which was opened in 1911. The Theatre closed in 1920, and was expanded to a become a 1,900 seater. Renamed the New Coronation Cinema, it was reopened in 1921, with a Baroque interior, and 3 dressing rooms to accommodate variety acts.

Originally under ownership of Abraham’s Suburban Super Cinemas, in 1929 it was, like many cinemas, taken over by the ABC group. One of the first cinemas to show ‘talkies’, and from 1938, the theatre element of the business gave way to full time cinema.

In 1968 the cinema closed, and a year later was reopened as Mecca Bingo, which closed in 1985. It then became a snooker club which only lasted for 3 years. A listed building, it reopened as a banqueting hall, although we are not sure if it is still open. Despite some damage over the years, as you can see from the picture below, the building is still in fairly good condition, and is obviously worth preserving.

If you have any further details that may assist us, and you would like to share them with our readers, we would love to hear from you. If you let us know what you know, we will put the details online with your name credited (if you wish, or we can credit the article as anonymous). You will be doing a service to the bingo community and posterity by helping us record details of all Britain’s bingo clubs and halls. Thank you.

By Gareth Whieldon (August 2012)

3 thoughts on “London – Mecca Bingo Manor Park – High Street North

  1. It was originally a cinema that closed down until Mecca bought it in 1968 and converted it into a beautiful bingo club which opened in January 1969. I joined the company in May that year as a trainee manager and by September, due to an almost total lack of business, the manager and assistant had departed and I was asked to “hold the keys” until they could find a new manager. I couldn’t wait that long so started putting on some promotions, night by night and within a year I had the most successful club in London. I loved the company, the people I worked with and I really admired Eric Morley for his drive and entrepreneurship.

    I stayed with Mecca until 1981 in which time I managed Streatham Hill Theatre (the company’s flagship club), Islington, Seven Kings and then back to Manor Park which had taken a dive. After a couple of years I took over at Harlow in 1980 and was there when the company decided to build a brand new club in that town. I also was involved for many years with the Miss World pageant which was a wonderful, life-changing experience.

    One day, before the club opened, I heard one of the workmen singing in a beautiful tenor voice so I climbed the scaffolding to find out who it was. We talked and later that week I had him walk across the stage, as I was opening the evening session, in his overalls and carrying a ladder. Acting surprised, I asked who he was and learning he was “John, the singing painter”, I invited him back during the intermission to entertain the audience. What a hit he was. Forerunner of “Britain Has Talent?”

  2. I remember it when it was a cinema, my mother worked there for many years from the early 50s. I have a picture of all the staff in their uniforms, I have often wondered if any one would like copys. I knew the layout of the cinema very well, as I spent school holidays watching the same film all week.

  3. My name is Glen I was a young main stage caller in 1978/9 I stayed about a year or so before being promoted to trainee assistant manager at Essex road Islington, I went on to become a manager at various other clubs . One of the managers I remember at the coronation was gary rylance and assistant manager pat, Irish lady Rita was in charge of the prize bingo, I used to call on there sometimes too with fond memories of ‘chase the chicken’ promotion which we used to move around the unit after each game. Very fond memories of working there lovely staff too, at that time weekly admissions were about 2500 but was going into decline losing business to Top Rank further up the Rd (now demolished) but the busiest bingo was the Granada round the corner from the Top Rank, I eventually went to Granada who were much more slick with their operations. Mecca though was friendlier and more showmanship type – remember used to play before each session ‘bingo I’m in love’ by singer and area manager Don Fox…….they were the days

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