Bingo Mecca

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Mecca Leisure Group
1950s advert, on a public transport, for the Mecca-owned Locarno Ballroom in Glasgow.
TypePrivate
Industry
Founded1933 (as Mecca Agency Limited)
Founder
  • Carl L. Heimann
  • Byron Davies
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Michael Guthrie, Chairman
Liverpool

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Mecca Leisure Group (also known as Mecca Leisure Ltd, Mecca Ltd, and Mecca Dance Ltd) was a British business that ran nightclubs, hotels, theme parks, bingo parlours and Hard Rock Cafes.[1] During the 1960s, Mecca was a centre of entertainment with numerous nightclubs throughout major United Kingdom towns and cities. Mecca ballrooms were used for the BBC TV show Come Dancing.[2]Eric Morley was a general manager of dancing at Mecca Leisure Group and was involved in the Miss World competitions.

Notable DJs performing at Mecca nightclubs include Jimmy Savile[3][4] from 1960[5] and Pete Waterman.

The Coventry Locarno is the subject of the Specials song 'Friday Night, Saturday Morning', B-side to Ghost Town.[6] Also, Chuck Berry's live version of 'My Ding-a-Ling' was recorded there.

History[edit]

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The Mecca Leisure Group has its origins in the Mecca Agency Limited, a company co-founded by Carl L. Heimann and Byron Davies in 1933 to operate the recently created dance hall chain Mecca Dancing.[7]

In 1989, the company acquired Pleasurama plc.[8]

In 1990, the Rank Organisation made an offer of £512m to acquire Mecca Leisure Group, which was initially rejected, and then accepted two months later.[1][9]

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Venues[edit]

VenueLocationOpeningLater NamesClosure
Locarno Ballroom[10]Basildon1961
Blackpool MeccaBlackpool1965
Locarno BallroomBurnley[11]1962Cat's Whiskers, Ritzy1996
Mecca Locarno[12]Coventry
Ilford Palais[13]London
Locarno Ballroom[14]Glasgow1926
Mecca Locarno Ballroom[5]Leeds19381969
LocarnoLiverpool1948
Lyceum TheatreLondon1834
Southampton Royal Pier[15]Southampton19631979
Stockport Plaza[16]Stockport1965
Locarno Ballroom [17]Swindon19521969
Mecca Dance Hall TottenhamLondon19102004
Hammersmith PalaisLondon19192007
Sherwood RoomsNottingham19571984
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References[edit]

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  1. ^ ab'The Rank Group plc - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on The Rank Group plc'. www.referenceforbusiness.com. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  2. ^'Come Dancing - UKGameshows'. www.ukgameshows.com. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  3. ^'A Study in Branding Popular Entertainment'. meccadancing.com. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  4. ^'Jimmy Savile'. DJHistory.com. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  5. ^ ab'Leodis - a photographic archive of Leeds - Display'. www.leodis.net. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  6. ^'The Specials - Music / Lyrics'. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  7. ^Nott, James (2015). Going to the Palais: A Social and Cultural History of Dancing and Dance Halls in Britain, 1918-1960. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN9780199605194. pp. 26-27.
  8. ^Ball, Aimee Lee (July 1991). 'Mr Universe'. New York Magazine. 24 (27): 38.
  9. ^'Rank Group Plc - About us - History'. www.rank.com. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  10. ^'Basildon - A Chronological History 1960 - 1969'. www.basildon.com. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  11. ^https://www.setlist.fm/venue/locarno-ballroom-burnley-england-13d425f9.html
  12. ^'The Coventry kid who made good'. www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  13. ^'When the local palais was the place to be dancing'. www.echo-news.co.uk. Archived from the original on 14 August 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  14. ^Evening Times (March 30, 2015). 'Memories: it was strictly for dancing at the Locarno Ballroom in 1962'. Evening Times. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  15. ^'English Seaside Piers - Royal Pier, Southampton'. www.theheritagetrail.co.uk. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  16. ^'BBC - In pictures: Stockport Plaza'. www.bbc.co.uk. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  17. ^https://www.setlist.fm/venue/locarno-ballroom-swindon-england-7bd40a9c.html

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External links[edit]

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