Arthur Lloyd.co.uk
The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.

Celebrating Twenty Years Online 2001 - 2021

The Carlton Theatre, Essex Road, Islington

Later - ABC / Mecca Bingo

See also in this area - The Angel Picture Theatre - The Philharmonic Hall / Empire Theatre / Grand Theatre - The Marlborough Theatre - The Pleasance Theatre - Collins' Music Hall - The Parkhurst Theatre - The Royal Agricultural Hall and Islington Palace

A Google StreetView Image of the former Carlton Theatre, Islington in 2020 - Click to Interact.

Above - A Google StreetView Image of the former Carlton Theatre, Islington in 2020 - Click to Interact.

Theatreshire Books  - Click to View Inventory

The opening night of the Carlton Theatre, Islington - From the Bioscope, 10th September 1930.The Carlton Theatre, Islington opened on the 1st of September 1930 with a showing of the 1929 'Talkie' film 'Welcome Danger' starring Harold Lloyd, this was followed by a short film on the building of the Theatre, and then a variety show on the Theatre's stage with Stephanie Anderson's Mid Air Girls, Gerardo and Adair, George Jackley, and the Three Virginians, all accompanied by Jean Michaud and his 25 piece orchestra and the Theatre's own Compton Organ played by Phil Finch.

Right - The opening night of the Carlton Theatre, Islington - From the Bioscope, 10th September 1930.

The Theatre was built as a Cine Variety Theatre for the Clavering and Rose Cinema Circuit and was designed by the well known Cinema Architect George Coles. The Theatre was designed primarily as a Cinema but did have full stage facilities with a 26 foot deep stage and four dressing rooms for its artistes. Above the Theatre's Foyer was a cafe for its patrons.

The Auditorium of the Carlton Theatre, Islington when it first opened - Photo by 'Comfortably Cool' and reproduced here with a creative commons licence from the Cinema Treasures Website.The exterior of the Theatre was designed in the Egyptian Style with muti-coloured Hathernware tiles, and internally the Foyer was in the Empire Style but still with some hints of the Egyptian about it, the auditorium however was designed in the French Renaissance style.

Left - The Auditorium of the Carlton Theatre, Islington when it first opened - Photo by 'Comfortably Cool' and reproduced here with a creative commons licence from the Cinema Treasures Website.

The Theatre was taken over by ABC in February 1935 although not renamed as such until 1962. Theatrical use ended in 1972 however when the last film, 'On the Buses' was shown there on the 5th of August. The Theatre was then converted into a Mecca Bingo Club which ran for decades until it was finally closed in March 2007.

Purchased by a Church the Theatre was proposed to become part Church and part Cinema but this never came to fruition and Church use only eventually began in 2013 and only using the former Stalls area of the Theatre. Some work on the internal fabric of this Grade II Listed building has taken place recently and it is hoped a full restoration will take place in due course. There are many interesting images of the Carlton Theatre on the Cinema Treasures Website here.

If you have any more information or Images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

Other Pages that may be of Interest