For the enjoyment of we fans of British music, someone has put up a series of photos of former rock venues. Here’s one example (alternate pict, Flickr’s pix are HD):
Address: Wellington Street, London WC2.
Dates: 1960s to 1985.
Past Use: Theatre. Built on the site of a previous theatre in 1834. Rebuilt in 1904 with only the façade retained. In 1951 converted into a ballroom for the Mecca Leisure Group.
Current Use: Closed as a ballroom in 1985. It was unused until the Theatres Trust acquired the lease and it was reconverted back to a theatre in 1996.As a Mecca Ballroom in the 1950s and 1960s the main performers were swing/dance bands like those of Ray McVay, Oscar Rabin and Cyril Stapleton. However, sometimes other forms of music got a look-in. For example in January 1960 there was an “All Night Carnival of Jazz” with all the British trad jazz favourites – Chris Barber, Acker Bilk, Ken Colyer, etc. From the late 60s it was used with occasionally as a rock/pop venue with gigs by the Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Faces and Sly & the Family Stone (plus some Marquee Club All Nighters as its licence terms prevented these happening in Wardour Street). …
I’ll just note that Ian Samwell became the first resident DJ at this venue in August, 1961. Samwell wrote Cliff Richard and the Five Chesternuts first hit song Move It, as well as several others.