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Carlton Cinema, Essex Road facts for kids

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Carlton Cinema, Essex Road, London

The former Carlton Cinema (and then Mecca Bingo) is an Art deco Grade II* listed building, located at 161–169 Essex Road, Islington, London. It was completed in 1930 as a cine-variety theatre with a capacity of 2226 seats.

Architect George Coles decided for an Egyptian style facade dressed in multi-coloured Hathernware tiles. The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in November 1922 influenced the Art Deco style and the buildings erected in that period, particularly cinemas and theatres.

Inside the building is mainly Empire style, with Egyptian decorations in the foyer, whilst the auditorium has a French Renaissance style.

The Carlton Cinema was taken over by Associated British Cinemas Ltd. (ABC) in February 1935. It was re-named ABC in 1962. The building was then converted into a bingo hall which continued for almost 35 years as the Mecca Bingo Club, until closing in March 2007.

It was purchased by a church in 2013 that planned to partially reopen it as a cinema, also converting the former cafe area into a second screen.

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