General - - Southend kursaal July 2020 | Leisure Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

General - Southend kursaal July 2020


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The Kursaal in Southend is a Grade II listed building it opened in 1901 as part of one of the world's first purpose-built amusement parks. The venue is noted for the main building with distinctive dome, designed by Campbell Sherrin, which has featured on a Royal Mail special edition stamp.

Over the last few years it has taken its toll.
Last year, the bowling alley and adjoining amusements left the grade II listed building after the operating firm went into administration. after the closure of Rendezvous Casino all that Now really remains is a Tesco Express supermarket Which is underneath.
it looks like no businesses will take the plunge to open it back up again as the high rates and costs.

time line of the kursaal-

1901 - The iconic building is built by a father and son, along with acres of land used as gardens with occasional fairgrounds. The central building contains a ballroom, circus, arcade and dining room. It's named the Kursaal Palace, and opens as the first purpose built amusement park in the world.

1910 - The company running the Kursaal go out of business. The land is bought by a new company - who rename it Luna Park and heavily invest in the fairground aspect of the park. They build roller coasters, a miniture railway and a cinema. Luna Park regularly gets 100,000 visitors a week and is the star of Southend.

1915 - The new company goes out of business, and an American businessman buys the park - renaming it the Kursaal. The circus is turned into an ice rink, and the gardens begin hosting sporting events. A zoo is opened in 1916.

1919 - Southend United begin playing their home matches at a ground built in the Kursaal's gardens.

1927 - Greyhound racing begins at the Kursaal. Crowds of 5,000 turn up for the first race. The races stop in 1929.

1934 - Southend United move to the Southend Stadium.
1939 - The Kursaal closed for the length of World War Two.

1948 - The Kursaal reopens, installing new rides and attractions.

1970s - The ballroom hosts musical acts like Deep Purple, Queen and AC/DC.

1973 - Business takes a downturn and the outdoor attractions close.

1977 - The ballroom closes.

1986 - The entire building closes. The outdoor land is sold off for housing.

1998 - After more than a decade of inactivity, the building is reopened by a private company. A bowling alley, arcades, a McDonald's, a casino a multiple other businesses move in. The regeneration of the building costs millions of pounds.

2008 - The McDonald's shuts and moves into a second location on Southend high street.

2019 - MFA Bowl collapse into administation closing the bowling alley and arcade. It looks as though a nightclub company may step in to save the business but the deal falls through.

2020 - The Rendevous Casino closes down - citing COVID-19 as an factor. Only the Tesco Express remains open.

the explore..
At the time the place was fairly easy to get into was the second visit but this time with a few of us we explored it properly ;) in we went and climbed up into the floor where the bowling alley used to be. The lanes had already all been removed, but the explore was great. With a 360 camera spinning above our head which we wasn’t sure to begin with was live or not, and a sensor bleeping away. We explored all of the bowling area and made our way up into the dome. There was large rooms which I believe was used as function suites. We all was exploring for a good few hours we even stopped for trips to Tesco for drinks lol. At the time we didn’t get into the casino part. But it was a great explore with everyone who came. Not really sure what else to say apart from I don’t think you can get in there no more and there ripping out the casino last time I looked. I didn’t manage many photos as at the time I only had my phone















grumpy sod
Regular User
That dome is pretty special

mockney reject

Chief Goon
Staff member
nice that, can you get up in the clock tower?

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
That dome and surround are quite special. Liking the blue glass and arches, great shot. Well done,:thumb
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