Date of closure: 21st October 2007
Address (for reference only):
New Century Bingo closed despite having 1,500 weekly regulars. It appears that the club was closed before its balance sheet went into the red, as losses were not claimed as a deciding factor for closure, but the effects of the smoking ban and the growth in online bingo were cited.
Elderly residents were affected most as it was a focal point for the community, and much sadness was expressed particularly for those who had been attending the hall since it was converted from a cinema in the 1970s. Luckily, there is another New Century Bingo in Southampton, although it may not be practical for all members to make the journey.
The bingo hall was located in the original Woolston Picture Theatre, which was a relatively small 750 seater that opened in the early 1900s. The area was bombed heavily in the war, although the Picture Theatre itself and its roundel decorated facade were not effected. This was one of the original cinemas that offered children’s matinees on a Saturday (if anyone was sent to the ‘naughty chair’ please let us know). We know the cinema underwent small changes in the late fifties, but we are not sure of the building’s current condition, or its present usage.
By Gareth Whieldon (July 2010)
An application for planning permission has been submitted to convert the premises into flats. Unfortunately the venue will no longer be a source of entertainment for local people, however the building has lain empty for several years, and no-one has stepped forward to re-open it. The good news is that if the proposal is accepted the building’s facade will remain.
By Gareth Whieldon (May 2013)