LONDON'S ABANDONED ARCHITECTURE: #1 ESSEX ROAD BINGO HALL

Monday, 6 June 2011




Strolling down Essex Road, you're in for an unexpected visual treat. It may be boarded up and flanked by chicken shops, but with its delightfully theatrical façade, this grade 2* listed building still turns heads


The building first opened to the public as 'Carlton Cinema' in 1930. You can see how it originally looked here. In its most recent guise, a Mecca Bingo hall, the space resounded with shouts of 'two fat ladies' and 'rise and shine'. But since closing in 2007, it has been left to rot. 


A proposal last year to redevelop the bingo hall as flats, a place of religious worship, a private theatre, private cinemas and a banqueting hall, was successfully blocked by the community, who argued  - quite rightly in my view - that it wouldn't serve their needs. 


For now, like Wilton's Music Hall in Hoxton, which just lost a Lottery bid for desperately needed restructuring work, the future of the Essex Road bingo hall remains unclear. 


Check out the treasure trove of a blog, Derelict London, for more examples of the capital's decaying architecture

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