As of this week another bingo hall has bitten the dust. Top Ten Bingo in Blackwood, South Wales has been purchased by Picturedrome Cinemas, who are going to restore the venue to its original use as a cinema.
Located on the High Street in Blackwood the bingo hall has been going full time since 1998, and during this period has been operated by Mecca Bingo as well as Top Ten.
The loss of this club brings the number of open clubs in South Wales to 14, which are mainly owned by Mecca, and Castle Bingo, however there is still one Top Ten Bingo club open, in Tonypandy.
It is sad to see another bingo hall close, but, at least it’s closure will lead to the rebirth of a cinema. During the sixties many cinemas were closed and converted into bingo halls so perhaps this is a bit of ‘cinema justice’, although it is a rare occurrence, and unlikely to become a trend.
Many of the finest bingo halls in the country are housed in old cinemas or theatres, one of the best examples being Gala Bingo in Tooting, we have a great gallery of the club which shows a what a splendid venue it is and can be seen here.
So, whilst bad news for bingo, at least it’s a good news story for the cinema industry. All too often we see clubs closed, and then demolished or converted to make way for housing or cheap beers establishments. People do need somewhere to live, and, in these tough economic times somewhere to drink and eat, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of our cultural and architectural history. At least this hasn’t been the case for Blackwood, and local residents whilst deprived of bingo, will still have somewhere cultural to go for a night out and a bit of a social.