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Mecca bingo club July 2006

These are photographs of one of the last sessions at the Mecca bingo club in the Hippodrome. I loved the decor. When entering the building it was a wonderful surprise. The exterior of the building was not very inspiring, but the interior was a gem.

I had some great times here and wonder if anyone else remembers the Hippodrome when it was a Mecca bingo club? If you can share any memories with us, please leave a comment below.

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The Hippodrome interior

The Hippodrome interior

The Hippodrome interior

The Hippodrome interior

The Hippodrome interior

The Hippodrome interior

Comments about this page

  • I cant remember The Hippodrome as a Bingo Club but I can remember it when it was a Theatre. I am showing my age when I write this comment as my memories of the Hippodrome are of the Variety Shows that dominated the fifties. I know this from first hand knowledge as my Great Uncle was Monsewer Eddie Gray of The Crazy Gang.

    By JOHN WIGNALL (24/05/2013)
  • I went with my friends here in the early 60s before it had bingo. I can definately remember the show included The Shadows, Sounds Incorporated, Little Richard, and I think Brenda Lee ( Little Miss Dynamite) as she was known. I wish I could remember more. Any one have a ticket or poster for this show? I can’t even remember the date.

    By Jackie Thomas/Parker Nee Jones (25/05/2013)
  • I worked at the Hippodrome in the early 1980s as a caller/Trainee Manager. I was there when the refurbishment was carried out when the demolished the old stage and put in the new, sophisticated electronic system. I enjoyed every minute of my time there. I eventually moved on to clubs in London including Streatham Hill Theatre, (we had a link game weekly with Brighton). It would be great to hear from anyone who worked there during the ’80s.

    By Des Parker (21/09/2013)
  • For Jackie’s information: Little Richard appeared with Sam Cooke, Jet Harris and Sounds Incorporated on 14 October 1962; Brenda Lee was there with Mike Berry, Tony Sheridan, The Bachelors and Sounds Incorporated on 13 March 1963; Cliff and the Shadows with the Vernons Girls on 7 April 1963. Sounds Incorporated appeared at least three more times in Brian Epstein shows, including the famous 25 October 1964 show with The Beatles.

    By David Fisher (05/02/2015)
  • Thank you Dave Fisher for the info, which I had forgotten. It was 14th October 1962 concert I was at and all my friends and I clubbed together and paid for a box. It was a great night.

    By Jackie Thomas/Parker (nee Jones) (14/02/2015)
  • I worked at the wonderful Hippodrome as a student on my summer & Easter holidays between 1972 to 1974 when it had become a bingo hall. They always needed staff! I was a ‘runner’ dashing round the hall collecting winner’s cards to be checked at the front of the stage. You had to run as the place was so big! The main session caller was a guy just known as ‘Maverick’ or Mav to most, with thick set glasses. I never knew his real name and most didn’t. I did cover for him a few times calling the main sessions when he went on his holiday which was quite a thrill as a 19 year old, especially when we had the ‘Link’ games with other halls. The manager was Mr Buttons (Pat Buttons), I think. There was prize bingo round the back of the stage during the interval of the main session. On a Friday/Saturday night I would work a spotlight for the Old Time Music Hall show which would start after the bingo around 10.00 pm. That was the closest it got to having real live entertainment. I remember being taken to see Frankie Vaughan there in about 1961 but wasn’t allowed to see the Beatles in ’63 or ’64. It was sad to see bingo being played in such a grand theatre, one of Frank Matcham’s finest, but it was a lovely place to work in and more fun than a shop or office.

    By Paul Preager (19/04/2016)
  • Back in the ’80s when I came to Brighton for my holiday, I would make a point of going to the Hippodrome and play bingo. I loved the interior of the building, if I remember correctly there were a couple of private boxes, but I might be mixing this up with another building – memory is not so good now. Is the building still standing and being used?

    By Stephen Chenery (09/10/2016)
  • I used to go here in the mid 90’s. The bingo caller was a huge character called Maverick, with a Yorkshire baritone delivery. He was almost famous.

    Great atmosphere and hilarity, like when a session ended and people sprinted to get in the queue for chips.

    I had a few wins as well. Great times.

    By Cameron Vallance (06/01/2018)
  • To Paul Prager…hi why don’t I remember you? I started there March 73 whilst I was at school, wow I have so many memories of the Mecca Hippodrome, it became my second home. I left school to carry on full-time, and what a time I had! The first Manager I encountered was Pat Button, I was very young, naive and did not understand his senior ways! I remember so many who worked there, knew the building inside out, I even slept there! Fell in infatuation with one of the “runners” wow I was only just 17, left for a month in the summer of 73 to travel around Sweden and Finland then came back for almost 2 years. I would love to win the lottery and put the build back to its stunning beauty as it was when I left! In 87 I bumped into one of the managers in Wigan who became a Theatre and TV booking agent. I even remember the annexe flat to the north of the building and the wonderful old lady who lived there. love to see some pics from the 70s. Anyone remember, Chris Hudson (The Snail guy) I think he committed suicide in 79. Val the manager of prize bingo, Val’s dad who was the electrician, and so many whose names escape me! Mav the caller always called me Scorp (Scorpio) as he remembered peoples zodiac signs and drove a Beetle.

    By Van Martin (03/01/2020)
  • I recall the elephant walk!
    Dear Maverick (grant Mcewan)
    I also remember Mr Button – fantastic showman.

    By Andrew (22/01/2021)

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