Date of closure: 29th July 2019
Address (for reference only):
Carlton Whitley Bay is located literally on the sea front, with the famous beach just a skip and a jump away. The Club is located in what was once the Spanish City Theatre, which was part of the seaside towns amusement complex. The theatre opened in 1910, and for the time was structurally a modern building, although its design had Italian Renaissance elements to it. The theatre showed films as well as stage performances, and from 1920 had ballroom facilities. In 1961 Carlton Bingo took over and have been operating the club until its closure in July 2019.
Robert Clark supplied the following information on the club:
The Coliseum Bingo hall was located on 246 Whitley Road, Whitley Bay, right in the heart of the town centre. It opened in 1910 as the Coliseum Theatre, but in 1919, was remodelled externally and internally, to become the New Coliseum Cinema. The distinctive frontage dates from the 1919 remodelling. ABC took over in 1929, and over the time, further alterations were made to the building.
ABC pulled out in December 1970, and the cinema was sold to become an independent cinema, although this venture didn’t last long, and in May 1971 it finally closed as a cinema. Around this time, it was converted to a bingo hall, and reopened as the Coliseum bingo.
From a 1992 visit to Whitley Bay, I understand that both this and the Spanish City bingo were in common ownership for a time, before this one closed by 1993, all resources being concentrated on Spanish City, which itself later became Carlton, before closing on 29th July 2019.
In 1999, the entrance became a shop, but the auditorium, sealed off, remained at the rear. Later, in 2009, North Tyneside Council acquired the auditorium site, and demolished it. The site then became the Whitley Bay Library, tourist information centre, and council offices, replacing the small site on Park Road, which is now a car park.
The frontage on Whitley Road remains, and still has “NEW COLISEUM” lettering on it. Nowadays, Greggs the bakers occupies both the entrance corridor, as well as where their unit was originally.
Our first three images were supplied by Robert Clark from the club’s final month trading in July 2019. They show the closure notice on the clubs door, and the entrance desk and corridor. The fourth image is a photograph of the clubs final party flyer, photographer unknown.
The below interior shots were taken by Playing Bingo contributor Ian Grundy, and show the exterior of Spanish City, and the majestic interior of the club.