Date of closure: 26th January 2007
Address (for reference only):
The Hippodrome Theatre originally opened as a variety theatre in 1914, and was then converted to a cinema in 1930. As the Hippodrome Super Cinema the premises changed hands on a few occasions, until it was converted back to a theatre in 1950 and renamed the Hippodrome Theatre. The theatre run touring shows through the decade, but the shows began to decline and eventually it closed down in 1959.
The building stood empty until it was bought by Mecca Ltd and converted to a bingo hall which opened in 1962. Alongside the bingo, the Hippodrome continued to have the occasional one night show and game of housey, housey (betting on pre-recorded horse races.) Like the cinema before it, the Bingo hall changed ownership several times before its closure. For the last section of its life, it was a part of the Walkers Bingo brand.
Since the closure of the club in January 2007, the Derby New Theatre Association tried unsuccessfully to buy the hall in the hope of returning it to its former use as a theatre. However, a fire at the premises in February 2008 has left the building’s future less than certain. It currently stands empty.
By David Lloyd (Feb 2008)