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Mecca Bingo Club

A Grade II Listed Building in Burnt Oak, Brent

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Latitude: 51.5978 / 51°35'52"N

Longitude: -0.2648 / 0°15'53"W

OS Eastings: 520281

OS Northings: 190199

OS Grid: TQ202901

Mapcode National: GBR 8K.XKZ

Mapcode Global: VHGQJ.C3CG

Plus Code: 9C3XHPXP+43

Entry Name: Mecca Bingo Club

Listing Date: 5 October 2000

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1384932

English Heritage Legacy ID: 485391

Location: Queensbury, Brent, London, HA8

County: Brent

Electoral Ward/Division: Burnt Oak

Built-Up Area: Barnet

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: All Saints Queensbury

Church of England Diocese: London

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935/16/10064 Burnt Oak
05-OCT-00 (Southwest side)
Mecca Bingo Club


Also Known As: Savoy, BROADWAY, Burnt Oak

Former cinema, constructed 1938 as the Savoy for Abraham Goide, to the designs of George Coles, FRIBA. Brown brick with faience dressings, on steel frame and with pitched roof. Double-height auditorium with single rear balcony, and impressive double-height foyer and staircase hall. The foyer block is ranged to the right, the auditorium running to the left parallel to the street.

EXTERIOR: Moderne composition with Classical embellishments. To the left of the main entrance doors are six more exit doors. There is a shallow canopy above the entrance, which extends around a later extension to the right. Rising over the entrance is an arched double-height window, with a broad faience surround and scrolling keystone. There are engaged columns (with composite capitals) dividing the window into three parts, over which is an entablature and glazed lunette. Complex Moderne metal glazing bars. Flanking this window are two urns on low plinths. At the summit of the foyer block there is a full entablature, the frieze of which has Rinceau ornament. Flat-pitched parapet. The long auditorium wall is blank except for two pedimented tabernacle windows at either end, connected by a faience string. Both windows also have balustraded balconettes supported on twin consoles. The left window is flanked by smaller plain window apertures. All the windows have Moderne metal glazing bars. Plain faience frieze and parapet coping. A short section of the return walls are similarly handled; further windows have faience surrounds, an arrangement continuing for the full depth of the right return, which also has a row of unadorned square windows on the second floor. Four flagstaffs: two on the higher block with two more on the lower wing. No roof seen above the foyer but a low-pitched roof is visible over the auditorium. On the far left, a chimney rises from the auditorium roof. The rear walls are functional and were not intended to be seen.

INTERIOR: Spacious foyer with streamlined Moderne ceiling in the form of large lighting coves. At the far end, a central flight of stairs rises to a landing, divides into left and right flights to subsidiary landings, quarter-turning into flights up to the balcony foyer. One scrolling Art Deco metal balustrade with a brass handrail in the middle of the first flight. Doors on the left of the foyer lead through to the large Moderne auditorium. The plain proscenium is enclosed by one lighting cove. The dado extends back from the proscenium as does the stylized Anthemion frieze under the cornice. On the ante-proscenium splays are double-height niche features with recessed tops, partly filled with Art Deco fibrous plaster grills to cover heating ducts and what was formerly the organ chamber. The niches stand on long balconettes below which are horizontal runs of Art Deco grill-work. The niches are flanked by plain-topped pilasters with superimposed engaged half-columns surmounted by electric torcheres. The side walls are divided by plain-topped pilasters into three sections and bear more electric torcheres. The areas between the pilasters are subdivided into triple compositions comprising tall fields and verticals carrying wave mouldings and horizontal banding supporting blind Art Deco grills and plain roundels. Balcony with one central vomitory. Several subsidiary sets of doors in the side and rear walls. The balcony front is relieved by three lines of indented mouldings. The timber barrier at the rear of the balcony has small Moderne grills. Classical ceiling coving with stepped mouldings and a central lighting float in Moderne style, bound by more plaster mouldings. Shallow stage. Moderne fronted balcony over the upper foyer stairwell. The upper foyer has two vertical windows with Moderne glazing, a scalloped cornice and streamlined ceiling coving with a central roundel.

ANALYSIS: A good example of a relatively unaltered large suburban neighbourhood' super-cinema of the 1930s. Both externally and internally, the architectural elements are handled with the dexterity associated with one of the best and most versatile architects specializing in cinema design during the pre-World War II heyday of cinema construction. It closed in 1961 to become a bingo club and is said to be the first permanent building in London to be exclusively devoted to the game.

Malcolm Webb, Greater London's Suburban Cinemas 1946-1986, Amber Valley Typesetting Services, Birmingham, 1986, page 15.
Tony Moss, George Coles, FRIBA, an article in Picture House, the journal of the Cinema Theatre Association, No 17, 1992, pages 16-17 and 29.
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, the Buildings of England, London 4: North, Penguin Books, London, 1998, page 169.

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