PICTURES AND VIDEO: Eerie glimpse Inside Doncaster's abandoned Karisma nightclub - 13 years after its closure

Its walls and dancefloors once echoed to the sound of hundreds of pop hits and it was the scene of many a drunken night out - but this is how Doncaster's famous Karisma night club looks today.

The building, which played host to The Beatles in a previous guise and which was also known as Romeo and Juliets and Seventh Heaven during its spell as a nightclub, is being converted to flats - and soon those memories will be lost forever.

The t night spot closed down in 2004 and had a short-lived rebirth as Faith - but the venue was then left to fall into ruin for several years and is now being ripped out by builders ahead of a new chapter as a series of flats and apartments.

The place to be seen in the 90s, clubbers would enter via double doors on Duke Street and then either climb endless flights of stairs to the top floor dance floor or, if you had a VIP pass, you could bypass the waiting throng and jump in the lift and cut the queue.

Once upstairs, you'd hand over your money and venture into the garishly decorated and dimly lit delights within, with male and female dancers often making endless circuits of a well-trodden path around the dancefloor on the lookout for potential suitors.

There was a popular food bar where sustenance could be gained in the shape of chips and not much else really, as well as "VIP" areas with raised seats. In the middle of it all, the DJ would blast out the hits of the day to the seething masses on the sticky dancefloor below.

The entrance to Karisma as it looked in its heyday.

The entrance to Karisma as it looked in its heyday.

The Grade II listed building will be known to older generations as the old Co-op store.

Built between 1938 and 1940 by T H Johnson & Son for the Doncaster Co-operative Society Ltd, the Art Deco style building, christened Danum House, was likened to a ship, cruising down Printing Office Street on its unveiling.

The store went through a variety of guises under the Co-op banner, was home to Doncaster Council's planning department and bargain store TJ Hughes for a time and now houses Peacocks and the British Heart Foundation stores on the bottom floor.

And it was where The Beatles played early in their career, John, Paul, George and Ringo appearing there on August 8, 1962 - one of five occasions the Fab Four played in Doncaster.

Revellers enjoy a night at Karisma back in the day.

Revellers enjoy a night at Karisma back in the day.

In later years, it became Romeo and Juliets, then Seventh Heaven and then Karisma - and it was from that venue motor racing champ James Hunt was famously denied entry for being drunk.

The fast-living, party hard playboy, who won the F1 World Championship in 1976 always liked a drink or two - and one night in Doncaster in 1989 proved no exception.

By then with his glittering career far behind him, a worse for wear Hunt, in town after winning two rosettes as a bird breeder at the World Budgerigar Championships, arrived at the door of Karisma.

Wearing jeans, he fell foul of the club's dress code and became involved in an altercation with bouncer Ian Butterfield. Furious at being denied entry, the F1 ace knocked a cup of coffee Butterfield was holding into his face, causing scalding for which was later treated at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

The club was also known as Seventh Heaven.

The club was also known as Seventh Heaven.

Hunt was wrestled to the ground by fellow bouncers and frogmarched to a nearby police car where he was promptly arrested. The incident made headline news - and came just a few years before his death in 1993.



Karisma was a popular clubbing venue.

Karisma was a popular clubbing venue.

The striking Grade II listed building arrived in Doncaster in 1938.

The striking Grade II listed building arrived in Doncaster in 1938.

The flagship Co-op store as it looked at its peak of popularity.

The flagship Co-op store as it looked at its peak of popularity.

Karisma welcomed legions of clubbers down the decades.

Karisma welcomed legions of clubbers down the decades.

The building's upper floors are being converted to flats.

The building's upper floors are being converted to flats.