We’ve all had some pretty epic memories in Picadilly Circus’ Trocadero, vivid flashbacks of the neon-light-lined escalator and hours spent on junk food-fuelled gaming sprees may all seem like a fever dream now, years ago a day spent in Trocadero was a day spent well. The entertainment center was closed down in 2011, but the building now lives to see another day as it is set to become a mosque and renamed the ‘Picadilly Prayer Space’.
Plans have been approved by Westminster City Council to turn the former site of the Trocadero into a three-storey place of worship and Islamic centre. The mosque will be able to accommodate 390 worshippers under plans by the billionaire entrepreneur Asif Aziz who is known as ‘Mr West End‘ after having almost 40 London properties under his belt. He purchased the building in 2005 which was home to the London Pavilion Theatre, Segaworld, and even featured as a backdrop for Madonna’s ‘Hung Up’ music video.
Part of the Trocadero building has been home to the Zedwell Hotel which will remain as it is, with the mosque taking over the space which was once a Metro cinema. A main community hall and prayer space will be constructed at the lower basement level, large enough to fit 250 worshippers, and a mezzanine floor at upper basement level for 140 worshippers. The mosque will open from 10pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday, with its entrance being on 19 Rupert Street.
A large central London mosque had been in the works for a while, as previous plans for a space that had capacity for 1,000 worshippers were submitted in 2020 but was eventually pulled after the plans were opposed by far-right groups, such as Britain First who had organised a petition against it. Other backlash has come from residents who worry that the worship space would conflict the areas character as a place of entertainment and tourism. Westminster City officials have responded that there are ‘numerous places of worship of different faiths and denominations in Soho‘ including St James’s Church on Piccadilly.
Reports have said that the mosque is set to open within a few months.