Wigan Casino

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Description:
The Wigan Casino was a nightclub in Wigan, Lancashire, England. Operating between 1973 and 1981, it was known as a primary venue for northern soul music. It carried forward the legacy created by clubs such as the Twisted Wheel in Manchester and the Golden Torch in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent. It remains one of the most famous clubs in Northern England.

This England, a TV documentary about the venue, was filmed in 1977. In 1978, the American music magazine Billboard voted Wigan Casino "The Best Disco in the World", ahead of New York City's Studio 54. Russ Winstanley and Dave Nowell wrote a history of the club, Soul Survivors, The Wigan Casino Story, which was published in 1996. A stage play by Urban Expansions, produced and directed by Paul Sadot about the Wigan Casino years, Once upon a time in Wigan, debuted in February 2003 at the Contact Theatre in Manchester, and has since toured nationally.

History

Wigan Casino was the name of the last incarnation of a Wigan ballroom called the Empress. Russ Winstanley approached Wigan Casino manager and leaseowner Gerry Marshall to run Allnighters there. Walker brought Winstanley from the rugby club to the Casino Club, and Wigan Casino opened in September 1973, with Winstanley as the DJ. Many famous soul performers performed there, including Jackie Wilson, Edwin Starr and Junior Walker.

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