Date of closure: September 2009
Address (for reference only):
Another Gala bingo has closed, once again located on the site of a former theatre.
Built in 1938, and previously known as the Dudley Hippodrome, it became a bingo venue hall in 1984.
Local people must be quite concerned about what is going to happen to the building, as it is a real piece of Dudley history. Not just home to pantomimes, its original performances included none other than George Formby, Laurel and Hardy, Bob Hope and Jonny Ray.
Unfortunately, it is now another empty hall, its owners departing due to the lack of profitability in land based bingo.
It appears that the building has been completely unused since its closure in 2009, and a team of volunteers have recently been making efforts to clean up the venue. The team have set up a crowd-funding page to raise funds to carry out essential asbestos checks on the building. Their ultimate intention is to restore the old cinema and reopen it as an arts venue. You never know, they may have the odd game of bingo if they can raise the £5 million necessary for the project.
By Gareth Whieldon (September 2009)