Date of closure: 14th September 2014
Address (for reference only):
At the moment we have few details of the events that led up to the closure of the Mecca Bingo South Shields. We have been informed that it is Gala Bingo’s long term policy to close older buildings rather than newer ones because the company is not fond of the older buildings and their higher maintenance costs. We will be keeping an eye on future Gala closures to see if this does ring true.
The building was originally a cinema, the ‘Regent’, which opened in 1935 with seating for over 1,800 cinema goers. An independent, it was equipped for stage performances, and lasted until 1996, when it was taken over by Mecca Bingo and converted for bingo use. The club closed in September 2014 when the owners decided that they would not renew the lease on the building. No specific reasons were given for the closure, so it can only be assumed that the venue was not operating at an ‘acceptable’ level of profit.
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By Gareth Whieldon (August 2014)
It looks like the future of the venue is sealed and bingo is not part of the picture. After a period of disuse it looks like the building is to be converted into a residential development. It looks like plans to convert the premises into 43 properties plus shops is going to be given the green light by the local council despite concerns from residents over parking and noise. Another historical building bites the dust…
By Gareth Whieldon (October 2016)
Well, it looks like bingo whilst not exactly receiving a reprieve may have a chance to return to the premises if a buyer can be found to reopen the hall. The planning application mentioned in the last update has been rejected. Ten residents wrote letters of objection and the final ruling was that there would not be enough parking for the scheme which included retail units and other businesses as well as the residential properties. Fingers crossed! More info here.
By Gareth Whieldon (December 2016)
The saga drags on! A year later, and the bingo hall is to become flats and coffee shop after planning inspector overruled councillors. Mind you, bearing in mind how long this has been dragging out, and repeated complaints from councillors themselves we wouldn’t be surprised if this is not the end of the story. Watch this space…
By Gareth Whieldon (September 2017)