Mecca Leisure Group

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This article is about the former parent company. For its social and bingo club leisure subsidiary (now owned by Rank), see Mecca Bingo.
Mecca Leisure Group
Industry Nightclubs, cafes, casinos, hotels, theme parks
Headquarters London, England, UK
Key people
Michael Guthrie, Chairman
1950s advert for the Locarno ballroom

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 parlors and Hard Rock Cafes.[1] During the 1960s they were the centre of entertainment with numerous nightclubs throughout major UK 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.


In 1989, Mecca Leisure Group acquired Pleasurama Plc.[7]

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][8]


Venue Location Opening Closure
Locarno Ballroom[9] Basildon 1961
Blackpool Mecca Blackpool 1965
Mecca Locarno[10] Coventry
Ilford Palais[11] London
Mecca Locarno Ballroom[5] Leeds 1938 1969
Locarno Liverpool 1948
Lyceum Theatre London 1834
Southampton Royal Pier[12] Southampton 1963 1979
Stockport Plaza[13] Stockport 1965
Mecca Dance Hall Tottenham London 1910 2004
Hammersmith Palais London 1919 2007


  1. ^ a b "The Rank Group plc - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on The Rank Group plc". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  2. ^ "Come Dancing - UKGameshows". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  3. ^ "A Study in Branding Popular Entertainment". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  4. ^ "Jimmy Savile". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  5. ^ a b "Leodis - a photographic archive of Leeds - Display". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  6. ^ "The Specials - Music / Lyrics". Retrieved 2015-08-15. 
  7. ^ Ball, Aimee Lee (July 1991). "Mr Universe". New York Magazine. 24 (27): 38. 
  8. ^ "Rank Group Plc - About us - History". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  9. ^ "Basildon - A Chronological History 1960 - 1969". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  10. ^ "The Coventry kid who made good". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  11. ^ "When the local palais was the place to be dancing". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  12. ^ "English Seaside Piers - Royal Pier, Southampton". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  13. ^ "BBC - In pictures: Stockport Plaza". 2009-12-11. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 

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