I’ve spotted a couple of news stories the last week about Bingo clubs closing down. The latest is on the Welsh island of Anglesey. The BBC carries a story of the Empire Cinema in Holyhead having closed. Whilst the piece concentrates on the closure of the cinema, the reason for its closure is the earlier closure of the Empire Bingo Club on it’s ground floor. It doesn’t go as far as to say why the closure of the Bingo would affect the cinema, but my guess is that the Bingo revenues went some way to supporting the cinema. Small cinemas like these are notoriously difficult to keep running.
There’s news from Dorset that the first of Gala’s five club closures will be happening in the next week. The Gala Winton Bingo club in Bournemouth, with its distinctive Art Deco frontage will be closing on the 10th of February. It’s hoped that some of the staff will be moved to other clubs.
Once again, it’s the small clubs that are suffering. These smaller Bingo halls represent a real loss to the industry with their years of culture and local service. It reminds me of the Irish pub invasion of the 90s. All these classy old pubs in my home town, real spit and sawdust places with character all got converted to Irish bars, and gone for ever was the atmosphere and friendliness that made them special. It’s a real shame to see the same happening so frequently in the Bingo industry.