Fabulous Photos of Lunchtime Dancing at the Top Rank Dancehall on Charing Cross Road in 1963.

In the basement of The Astoria Theatre was a ballroom and like many throughout Britain at the time it was known as the Top Rank Dance Hall. In 1963 it held teenage lunchtime dance sessions hosted by young DJs. As you can see, it would be a few years before London could be described as anything close to 'swinging'.

 

Charing Cross Road, Astoria Theatre, Top Rank Dancehall, 1963

The London Astoria was located on Charing Cross Road just down from the Tottenham Court Road tube station. It closed for the last time in January 2009 and was demolished in October that year for London Crossrail. The building was erected on the site of a Crosse and Blackwell warehouse and opened to the public in 1927 as a cinema. It was taken over soon after World War 2 by the Rank Organisation and became well known for showing 70mm films. West Side Story broke the Astoria box office records in January 1962. Meanwhile in the basement there was a ballroom and like many throughout Britain at the time it was known as the Top Rank Dance Hall. In 1963 it held teenage lunchtime dance sessions hosted by young DJs. As you can see, it would be a few years before London could be described as anything close to ‘swinging’.

Charing Cross Road, Astoria Theatre, Top Rank Dancehall, 1963

 

Charing Cross Road, Astoria Theatre, Top Rank Dancehall, 1963

 

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Charing Cross Road, Astoria Theatre, Top Rank Dancehall, 1963

 

 

Charing Cross Road, Astoria Theatre, Top Rank Dancehall, 1963