History of Tenpin Bowling in the UK Part 10 – ABC Pavilion Bowl Leytonstone London

By Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association President John Ashbridge

ABC Pavilion Bowl Leytonstone London

The fifth bowling centre to open in the London area was the 20 lane AMF equipped centre at Leytonstone which located in the converted ABC Rex cinema. The Rex began life as part of the ABC chain of cinemas and was the first in the group to be known as the Rex when it was opened in 1936. The cinema, apparently, lead an eventful life and was closed on 18th March 1960. The interior was gutted with alterations to permit the bowling lanes to be located on two floors, 12 on the ground floor and 8 on the first floor and was opened on 29th August 1961.

As the ABC Bowl it also appeared to have an uneventful life and was closed on 20th May 1972. Following closure, the building lay derelict for some time and was later demolished and replaced by a building occupied by Co-operative Funeral Care.


  1. The ABC Pavilion Bowl at Leytonstone is featured in a sketch of the 1963 teen music drama –

    ‘What A Crazy World’

    starring singer songwriter Joe Brown, Susan Maughan, Marty Wilde, and Lesley Duncan.

    Available on DVD from time to time on Ebay or Amazon. Nostalgic fun.

    More info :

    • Thanks for reminding me. I seem to remember scenes from that movie…I was assistant manager at the bowl, for a few years…during the 1960’s, I was also Managing for the ABC Company in many other bowling centers around the UK…Cheers mate…from Australia.
      Take it easy!!

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