Date of closure: September 30th 2019
Address (for reference only):
Although we don’t know the full history of the Crown Bingo South Shields, we do know a bit about the venue’s past. Part of the building dates back to 1866, when it was opened as an Adult school. Subsequently the building was remodelled around 1911, when it re-opened as the Crown Picture Hall, a place of entertainment supplying both film and variety perfomances. It was a cinema for most of the mid 20th century, as the variety acts disappeared and talkies became the mainstay right up to 1959 when the building’s life as a cinema ended.
It reopened on August 14th 1961 as the Crown Bingo Club, a part of the Hearns family of bingo clubs. A fire in 2010 damaged part of an adjoining outbuilding’s roof, but not badly enough to stop it trading as a bingo hall. This old section of the building was demolished to make way for a car-park for players at the club. The club shut its doors for bingo in September 2019, as a victim of failure of its parent company Beach Bingo.
We don’t know if there are any plans to reopen the bingo hall, demolish or develop the site at this present time.
Michael Hess: Palace Bingo, Bedworth
Taken as a part of the Playing Bingo commission of Michael Hess to shoot a follow-up to his book, Bingo and Social Club. Find out more about the project here.
The photographs below were taken during a quieter afternoon session on the 26th of April 2013. There’s a couple really unique shots of what must have been a made to design carpet with both the name ‘Hearns’ and a bingo card. The photos give a great impression of the multilevel hall and its members. It’s always sad to see empty tables, but always good to see the youngsters in for a game too.
Photographs copyright Michael Hess April 2013. They cannot be reproduced without the permission of PlayingBingo.co.uk.