Date of closure: 1998
Address (for reference only):
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 in Peckham, all we know is that it closed in 1998. However, we do know a bit about the building’s past prior to bingo.
The original Gaumont Theatre was opened in 1932 on the site of another theatre, the Peckham Hippodrome, which had been demolished 3 years earlier. With a total of 2,300 seats, the Gaumont was one of the larger London cinemas. It had an 18 foot deep stage, and dressing rooms for visiting artistes located underneath the stage.
Like many London theatres it suffered bomb damage during the war, causing it to close during 1941, and again in 1944 after it was hit badly by rocket. After reopening in 1945, it underwent a refurbishment in 1948, and continued to show films until its closure in 1961.
The Gaumont became a bingo club in 1961, under the name Top Rank Bingo Club, at first sharing the timetable with wrestling matches. Unfortunately the interior was modernised in the seventies, removing the original Art Deco styling. At some point it became Mecca Bingo, and continued until 1988. Regrettably, the building has been demolished and flats have been built, so bingo will definitely not be returning to the venue.
If you have any details that may assist us, and you would like to share them with our readers, we would love to hear from you.
By Gareth Whieldon (July 2012)