Derby Walkers / Mecca Bingo – Green Lane

This Club Is Closed Or Demolished
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Date of closure: 26th January 2007

Address (for reference only):

Mecca Bingo
Green Lane
Derby
DE1 1RT

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)

2 thoughts on “Derby Walkers / Mecca Bingo – Green Lane

  1. I was a bingo caller at 17 at the Hippodrome in 1965. It was alive. I think it was Frank Knight assistant manager, and Street or something like that who was the manager. He was ex-CID. I had to light the gas exit lights and put them out at night. It was really creepy on your own up in the ‘gods. Friday and Saturday it was dress suit and cumberbuns. I called for Star bingo as well.

    1. Hey Tony

      I worked there from 1992 to 1995 when it was Walker Bingo, while I was at Derby University. Use to be the doorman. Along with a gentleman forget his name now I think it was Fred. Maggie use to work in the canteen. Philip use to work with me checking the numbers. Others I recall however forgot their names. I use to lock up at night time and yep going up to the gods was scary, I recall walking through the Bar to get to the gods then walking down the long stairs to the bottom. Man I use to run up and down so quick. However loved working there so much. Use to work a lot in the circle checking numbers and had a brilliant set of customers up there.

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