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Latitude: 52.584 / 52°35'2"N
Longitude: -2.131 / 2°7'51"W
OS Eastings: 391223
OS Northings: 298474
OS Grid: SO912984
Mapcode National: GBR 1CL.P2
Mapcode Global: WHBFZ.79HW
Plus Code: 9C4VHVM9+JJ
Entry Name: Mecca Bingo Club
Listing Date: 5 October 2000
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1384944
English Heritage Legacy ID: 485403
Location: Wolverhampton, WV1
Electoral Ward/Division: St Peter's
Built-Up Area: Wolverhampton
Traditional County: Staffordshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands
Church of England Parish: Central Wolverhampton
Church of England Diocese: Lichfield
SO9198SW SKINNER STREET
895-1/13/10027 Mecca Bingo Club
Also Known As: Odeon Cinema, SKINNER STREET
A former Odeon cinema, which became a bingo club after June 1983. It opened in September 1937. Architect: P.J. Price of Harry Weedon's practice. Brick and faience. Double-height auditorium with balcony and small stage, with foyer and staircase to front.
Asymmetrical facade to Skinner Street in Moderne style. Cream faience-clad tower on left enlivened by vermilion faience protruding mouldings. Black faience clad oversailing fin projects forward from facade. Cream faience cladding above entrance is unrelieved except for two horizontal slit windows half-way up and more vermilion faience projecting mouldings at the top. Lower section to the right has five double-height windows outlined in black and green faience stripes, framed by cream faience. This composition is surrounded by unrelieved brick (except for five horizontal slit windows placed to line up with the double-height windows) which also extends over to the tower. Glazing bars in upper level of double-height windows only. Stock brick return walls.
Interior: outer lobby was originally double-height with high coved ceiling. The upper part of this may exist above a later false ceiling. Stairs to the balcony (with original chromium handrails) to the left. Entrances to the right lead through to an inner lobby which retains original crenellated' frieze mouldings and an Odeon' skirting. Curving draught entrance lobbies to the auditorium.
Large double-height auditorium dominated by four fibrous plaster lighting coves stepping down to proscenium and terminating in bulbous fronted balconettes. Each cove is decorated with Art Deco mouldings at present accentuated by a garish colour scheme. A further similar cove runs across the width of the balcony soffit. Plaster combing in cove nearest proscenium and on balcony soffit. Vertical ridged surface to balcony front. Simple rectangular lighting cove in ceiling over balcony with central float' for lighting or ventilation and horizontal fibrous plaster ventilation grille. Double-width central vomitory entrance ports and Odeon' emergency doors survive in the balcony rear wall.
Original Odeon' doors and triple-stage skirting in upper foyer. The floor of the upper foyer does not meet the Skinner Street facade wall but instead finishes with a balustrade forward of the wall where it was formerly possible to look down to the ground floor lobby.
Recommended for Grade II listing as an almost complete example of the Odeon style'. The Odeons were the style-leaders in cinema design of their time. The facade is a particularly successful essay in streamlined modernism, with no drastic subsequent alterations. The tower and fin feature advertises the cinema, creating a landmark. The difficult problem of how to compose a facade in which few windows were required is addressed within the constraint of the positioning of those that were allowed being dictated by the strict demands of a functional plan.
Ned Williams, Cinemas of the Black Country, p. 2,11,28,34,63-4, Uralia Press, 1982
Rosemary Clegg (editor), Odeon, p.161, Mercia Cinema Society, 1985
Allen Eyles, Oscar and the Odeons, Focus on Film No.22 Autumn 1975, p.54
Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinemas, p.173, Editions de Moniteur, 1981
Richard Gray, Cinemas in Britain, p.96, 140, Lund Humphries, 1996
Listing NGR: SO9122398474
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