Date of closure: November 1997
Address (for reference only):
4 The Parade
We don’t know why Top Rank Bingo closed, or who the owners were who bought it after the Rank Organisation put it up for sale, but we do know a bit about the history of this rather grand building. It was originally a corn exchange, built in 1851, which was also used for various public functions such as dances and auctions. From the beginning of the twentieth century it was also used as a cinema, and in 1920 was converted into The Exchange Cinema, which was fully equipped for a patronage of 2,020, which was quite large for the era.
Provincial Cinematograph Theatres took over in 1924, and made some major enhancements to the venue, including a tea room and roof garden. The cinema was the first non London venue to show a ‘talkie’, which must have been quite a coup in the day. In 1950, like many other cinemas, it became a ‘Gaumont’, and a year later underwent interior changes. In 1964 it was taken over by the Rank Organisation, and lasted another ten years before becoming a Top Rank Bingo club, which was in turn purchased by an independent bingo operator at some point. We are not sure what the last ‘bingo name’ was for the club, but we do know that it is now a Chicago Rock Cafe, and that is where our knowledge stops.
At the moment we do not have details of the events that led up to, or any of the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Top Rank Bingo Northampton. If you have any details that may assist us, and you would like to share them with our readers, we would love to hear from you. If you let us know what you know, we will put the details online with your name credited (if you wish, or we can credit the article as anonymous). You will be doing a service to the bingo community and posterity by helping us record details of all Britain’s bingo clubs and halls. Thank you.