Cardiff Riva Bingo – Agate Street

This Club Is Closed Or Demolished
  • Exterior of the now closed Cardiff Riva Bingo - Agate Street

Date of closure: June 2009

Address (for reference only):

Riva Bingo
Agate Street
CF24 1PF

Riva Bingo started life as the single screen Art Deco style Splott Cinema. Designed by architect William S. Wort, it opened in 1913 with a seating capacity of 750, which was expanded to 2,000 in the 1930s after modification. This was one of the first Splott Circuit cinemas, and the first to accommodate talking pictures, which required an alternate sound system and no musical accompaniment. The club opened initially as Top Rank Bingo, then became Mecca Bingo before being taken over by Riva Bingo. As a bingo hall it did very well, lasting until 2009 which is a few years longer than many of the other clubs to go in the first wave of closures.

By Gareth Whieldon (July 2010)


Update: We have since heard that the club was actually sold in 2006 due to the no-smoking ban, and that there are plans to demolish the building and turn it into flats.

By Gareth Whieldon (January 2011)


After a fire in February 2015, the building has been demolished. The daytime fire was so serious that several fire crews were needed to control it, and the whole area was closed off to traffic and pedestrians, many local residents having been evacuated from their homes.

By Gareth Whieldon (March 2015)


Two years on the fate of the former bingo hall is still undecided. In 2016 a planning application was made by local businessman Mr Malik to convert the building into 47 flats under the proviso that £767,801 would be used towards affordable housing and open space. But, due to the unforseen costs of clearance, asbestos removal and sprinklers, Mr Malik has said that he would be unable to meet the ‘community cash’ payment. The figure has since been reduced to £125,000 subject to council approval before the work goes ahead.

By Gareth Whieldon (April 2017)

One thought on “Cardiff Riva Bingo – Agate Street

  1. I had many happy years working here in the 1990s, me and the girls used to have a screen. Was knackering having to walk up and down the tiers of the hall though, specially carrying coins for the four square. Happy days, was gutted when it burnt down.

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