The Eclipse (venue)

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Converted from a disused Granada bingo hall, The Eclipse on Coventry's Lower Ford Street was the first legal all-night club in the United Kingdom.

The club had three floors at ground level was the reception where tapes and videos could be bought. The first floor was the chill out room where ice cold drinks and food were served, the second floor was the main dance floor and stage area for the PAs to play, and the third floor was a balcony overlooking the second floor. On most Friday nights the first floor was used as a second dance arena which had its own line up of DJs. The club's official capacity was 1,600.

The brains behind The eclipse were two local young men, Stuart Reid and Barry Edwards. People traveled from all over the country to attend the club.

The Eclipse opened its doors on 13 October 1990 with the following lineup: Evil Eddie Richards, Fabio, Dobbo, Mickey Finn, Tony Ross, Sasha, and MC Tunes, who moaned about the sound system and walked off stage saying, "Get the sound sorted out, we'll be back soon", but he didn't return.

A record shop opposite the Eclipse, Moonshine Records (which later changed to Bang In Tunes), sold tickets, tapes and videos from various events.

Fridays at The Eclipse were event nights. Energy, Amnesia, New Age, Omen, Helter Skelter, Weekend World, Bang In Tunes and Fantazia held their first events at the club. DJs included Sasha, Tin Tin, Carl Cox, Mickey Finn, Blobb & Nipper. The most popular were Master P, Ezee Vibe, Man Parris and Coventry's own Sluggi.

The entry fee on a Friday ranged from £15 - £20, and many events sold out beforehand.

Saturdays were for members in the early days. The cost of entry was £10 which later changed to £15. The Eclipse's resident DJs were locals Mickey Parkes and Mickey Wilson.

The Prodigy played their first live PA at The Eclipse; it is said that they were paid £60 for the gig.

There have been a few highly successful Eclipse re-union parties, the last of which was held at The Empire in Coventry which also celebrated the club's 25th anniversary on 12 December 2015.

Although a legal licensed venue, one of the stipulations of the license prevented the sale of alcohol.

The venue changed its name to The Edge before ultimately closing in September 1993. By the time of closing the venue had had over a million people walk through its doors and a membership of 74,000.

The Eclipse wasn't finished, though; in 1996 Virgin Records with the help of Stuart Reid released two LPs called The Eclipse Presents Dance till Dawn. One LP was mixed by Stu Allen and the other by Slipmatt.

The building was subsequently bought by Coventry University, repurposed as a student union entertainment venue and called The Planet. This project was also abandoned and the building was demolished to make way for a car park.

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