Date of closure: February 2010
Address (for reference only):
Top Ten Bingo
The Wednesbury club closed in 2010, one of the later victims of the recession and the smoking ban, although the club did hold out for longer than many, which may be an indicator of a bingo stronghold in the Midlands.
The bingo hall was located on the grounds of what was once the Picture House. Built in 1915, the cinema had a run of twenty three years before it was demolished; however all was not lost, as Gaumont built a new one which opened the same year as the previous demolition.
Built in the Modernist style, it had a 60 foot tower, a feature that had become de rigeur for new clubs, – a sort of replacement feature where previous architects had constructed a highly visible ‘fin’. These new towers signalled a move away from classicism and heralded a new dawn in cinema architecture. Whether this style is to your liking or not, it certainly improved the cinemas visibility, and in a way it could be considered ‘architecture as marketing’.
It was renamed ‘Odeon’ in the sixties after a take over by Rank, and again renamed ‘Silver’ in 1972 after a further take over by an independent. The cinema closed in 1974, was taken over as a bingo hall, and its current usage is not clear at the moment.
By Gareth Whieldon (August 2010)
A fire broke out at the club on 10th of February 2014 in what appears to be an arson attack. Although up to 75 fire-fighters were involved in calming down the blaze, the building did not sustain too much damage.
By Gareth Whieldon (February 2014)
It looks like the future of the building is now in safe hands as it will be undergoing a £2 million refurbishment. Owners, independent chain Picturedrome Cinemas intend to reopen the cinema in summer 2018 creating 20 jobs. Although it will not be returning to bingo, the good news is that the owners intend to retain much of the original interior and exterior design. More info.
By Gareth Whieldon (October 2017)