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©  Robert E Priest LRPS

IoE Number: 482157
Location: MECCA BINGO, 52-58 MIDDLE STREET (east side)
Photographer: Robert E Priest LRPS
Date Photographed: 05 September 2001
Date listed: 20 December 1985
Date of last amendment: 26 August 1999
Grade II*

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

BRIGHTON TQ3004SE MIDDLE STREET 577-1/39/520 (East side) 20/12/85 Nos.52-58 (Consecutive) Mecca Bingo (Formerly Listed as: MIDDLE STREET Nos.52-58 Former Hippodrome) II* Brighton ice rink, now bingo hall. Opened in 1897. Enlarged and converted into a circus and theatre called The Hippodrome in 1901, architect Frank Matcham; further enlarged by the addition of 2 houses to the north in 1939. Probably brick, stone, and/or terracotta all now painted, and the greater part of the building now rendered; roof obscured by parapet. Apart from the 1939 enlargement, the building is symmetrical and laid out on a long front along Middle Street; there are 3 elements. EXTERIOR: the central part under a lean-to roof consists essentially of 3 elliptical arches at the centre with fluted pilasters, pulvinated frieze and moulded archivolt; the 2 outer arches give onto flat-arched entrances; the central arch encloses a window with sidelights and fanlight, all with decorative leaded glass; in the sides of the 2 porches are decorative panels of opalescent glass lettered 'HIPPODROME'. On either side of this porch, one flat-arched window with central mullion; cornice of egg-and-dart moulding; the building rises at the back above the lean-to roof with a central panel lettered 'HIPPODROME' set forward; dentil and modillion cornice; blocking course, raised at the centre and now much altered. Flanking the centre are 3-storey tower-like elements with a flat-arched entrance at the bottom, the entrance framed by pilasters, cornice and pediment and having panelled door of original design; 2 flat-arched windows above and one door above that; on the inner side is what looks like a large chimneystack, now finished off with new brickwork to the parapet. The outer elements are a pair of single-storey entrances; the entrance itself 4-centred, the mouldings dying into a chamfer at the side; panelled doors of original design to the left-hand entrance and original 3-sided decorative lamps above; entrances framed by blocked Ionic engaged columns with pulvinated frieze and modillion cornice; the columns continue as engaged blocked antae above the cornice flanking a broad cartouche, the outline of which is marked by putti and scrolls; egg-and-dart moulding to cornice; the upper floor set well back. INTERIOR: vestibule ceiling decorated with panels of arabesques. The auditorium is horseshoe-shaped in plan and the floor has been raised to accommodate a bingo hall; this runs through proscenium arch over former stage. The ornate decorations in modelled plaster make frequent use of Rococo forms. Proscenium arch with architrave having egg-and-dart moulding; shallow curved pediment over filled with a shell cartouche with Brighton's dolphins intertwined and flanked by female emblematic figures; blank balustrades either side of the pediment and 3 lunettes above filled with musical emblems in the centre and vases and arabesques to either side; 2 tiers of boxes formerly to either side, the upper boxes now only complete, flanked by pilasters with entablature and ribbed onion dome flanked by consoles and urns; the fronts of the boxes and of the gallery are decorated with cartouches, garlands and pendants. The ceiling is divided into radiating segments, each segment being subdivided into 3 panels decorated with shell and other Rococo motifs, the ribs between treated as a double console bracket between the outer and middle panels; central rose with arcaded lantern. (Carder T: The Encyclopedia of Brighton: Lewes: 1990-).

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