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Report - Caesars Nightclub - Streatham, South London - November 2014

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by The_Raw, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    The History

    Caesars started life as the first purpose built Ballroom in England opening in 1928 as 'The Locarno Ballroom'. It was one of the premiere London nightspots of the time, with Glenn Miller, Laurel & Hardy, Audrey Hepburn, and Charlie Chaplin among the top names to grace its stage.​

    How it looked back then
    [​IMG]

    Streatham Megabowl sits to the right nowadays
    [​IMG]

    In 1969 it became the 'Cat’s Whiskers Club' with a revolving stage where bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Small Faces & Rod Stewart performed. Miss World and Come Dancing (now Strictly) started their legacies there and it became a regular haunt for people in the London underworld such as The Krays. It went on to become 'The Studio' in 1984, 'The Ritzy' in 1990 and eventually 'Ceasars Night Club' in 1995 owned by Fred Batt. The new owner started the first lap dancing club for women in there, it also became a boxing venue and held the first ever pro female boxing match. In recent years cage fighting took place in there and since it's closure there are rumours that illegal boxing matches went on there.

    Fred Batt with the dancers
    [​IMG]

    It made several TV appearances, most notably in Guy Ritchie's movie Snatch for Brad Pitt's boxing scenes. Most Haunted filmed there in 2009 where they attempted to investigate the ghost of Ruth Ellis, the last female to be hung in the UK who is said to have worked in the club in 1948. The episode can be viewed here > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwslEY1LFkA and although it's a load of nonsense there is some half decent footage of what the club looked like in it's former glory right at the beginning.

    In 2010 the club ran into financial difficulties and had to close it's doors for the last time. It was bought by developers who failed to do anything with it and was sold on again in the last 12 months to commercial property developers London Square along with the Megabowl next door. The existing buildings are to be demolished except for the historic facade of the Megabowl and the new site will include 243 new homes, children’s play space, retail space on ground level, plus a community and theatre space. Demolition is fully under way now.​

    The Explore

    I've been trying to access this place for the last year or so, the closest I got was inside the roof but there was no way inside the building from there. Every other access point was locked up and I had pretty much given up until I heard that the demolition team had turned up. I made a trip with extreme_ironing and we found a way in but unfortunately we were a little too late as much of the interior had been ripped to shreds already, gutted (literally). Anyhow it was still great to see the inside of the place and there was enough of it left to imagine what it would have been like. The ballroom is enormous and with it being in pitch darkness it was difficult to photograph well, especially with the batteries dying in my torch. Anyway I did what I could and hopefully enough for you to imagine the place before it is gone forever. The Roman murals covering the walls would've been enough to make even Del Boy blush, they were tacky as hell but kind of cool. Anyway onto my pics, hope you enjoy :) ​

    Arty shot of the night
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    The Stage
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    Strippers billboard
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    One for the ladies :D
    [​IMG]

    Backstage
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    Bits of the PA system amongst rubble on the dancefloor
    [​IMG]

    Extremely grainy shot of the stage from the balcony
    [​IMG]

    The sorry state of affairs, if only we'd got there 2 weeks earlier....this gives you an idea how big the place is at least
    [​IMG]

    Plaster decorations ripped off the walls
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    Stairs leading up to the balcony, most rooms up there appeared to have been stripped already with asbestos removed
    [​IMG]

    Looking towards the balcony from the top of the stairs
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    One of the countless murals dotted around
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    The bar
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    Looking across from one balcony to another with large leather seating downstairs
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    Cage fighting poster
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    Hand written bubbly menu, perhaps from an illegal boxing match....?
    [​IMG]

    More murals
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    Carpets with Caesars logo
    [​IMG]

    Balconies
    [​IMG]

    Compliments slips in one of the offices that hadn't been stripped yet but were trashed
    [​IMG]

    Found this sign amongst the rubble 'Smile you're going on stage'
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking, you can see more shots from Caesars on their still functioning website here http://www.darkforce.com/caesars/ :thumb

    RIP Caesars​
     
    #1 The_Raw, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014

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  2. extreme_ironing

    extreme_ironing 28DL Regular User
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    Great set all things considered. ;) Bit sorry I had to leave early after seeing these. Nice one.

    Was a bit scary to think you, me, and Sentinel were skulking about in the dodgy rooftop a few months back seeing the state of it! Would've made for a nasty fall. :p Despite the fact they trashed much of the ballroom it was an interesting and different location. Figure I should finally snap some of the Megabowl now it's coming down.. wonder if they removed the balls. :eek:
     
  3. UrbanDuck

    UrbanDuck Authorised Trespasser
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    Great write up and a decent set of photos given the lighting conditions, shame such a gem is going - thanks for posting :thumb
     
  4. PlapPlap

    PlapPlap 28DL Full Member
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    I have many memories of watching from the nightbus as pastel-shirted nobheads battered each other on the pavement outside. Now I see that they were obviously influenced by all these violent murals. Glad you got in in the end!
     
  5. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Dang i was hoping for more Tigers
     
  6. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Nice man, shame you didn't get there earlier but never mind. :thumb
     
  7. professor frink

    professor frink Pro Snorer Skiff
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    That's so tacky it's nearly classy.
    This place has been tight for years, good to see it still shows some of the former grandeur :thumb
     
  8. PCWOX

    PCWOX 28DL Regular User
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    Remember going here years ago when it was still open! Good work
     
  9. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    Excellent stuff Mr Raw, excellent photies and write up :thumb
     
  10. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Cheers everyone, had no idea it was gonna be this classy inside, fit for royalty on those balconies :D
     
  11. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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  12. jimfoz

    jimfoz 28DL Full Member
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    Interestingly, Fred Batt now appears regularly as a Demonologist on Most Haunted. A natural career progression from being a night club owner.
    Apparently he bankrolls Yvette Fielding's production company to make the programme.
     
  13. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Haha how odd.... He reminds me a little of Charles Dance in The Golden Child :D

    [​IMG]
     
  14. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    One of my Streatham friends just posted this on facebook, old TV footage from 1938 when it was the Locarno ballroom, looked a hell of a lot different back then! :D

    [video=youtube;hyp4ZlQoVS8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyp4ZlQoVS8[/video]
     
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