Date of closure: 2005
Address (for reference only):
The building Mecca’s Smethwick Bingo Club operated in had quite a long and varied history prior to the arrival of bingo. It opened in 1909 as a skating rink, the building being made of mere timber frame and clad in metal. It was converted into a cinema by Irving Bosco who bought it in 1912, and made alterations to facilitate seating for fifteen hundred cinema goers.
After changing hands a couple of times again, in 1929 the building was demolished and a new modern cinema, Rink Cinema, opened in 1930. The design both interior and exterior was quite grand, and included murals and Portland stone surrounds. As silent films were still being shown the cinema had a Compton 3 Manual/9 Ranks theatre organ.
The cinema eventually closed in 1964 after further changes of ownership, and was taken on by Rank who later became Mecca Bingo. We do know the building is now an Asian banqueting hall, but we’re not sure how much of the interior has been altered. From skating, to films, through bingo, and onto curry – if only the walls could speak!
By Gareth Whieldon (July 2010)