More Former Bingo Halls At Risk
It seems you can’t go more than a week or two without hearing about new plans to tear down old bingo halls. It is fair to say that a great number of bingo halls up and down the country have seen better days and in the constant need for progress and better value, there are valid reasons for getting rid of many of these buildings. However, people have a lot of memories surrounding these buildings so it is easy to see why many folk would shed a tear or perhaps even raise a glass to so many great buildings that helped to shape their life.
A lot of bingo history
There is a rich vein of history in many of the British bingo halls that extends far beyond bingo playing. A great number of the halls were first used as music halls and theatres and then brought the glamour of Hollywood to the masses in the shape of cinema. When TV became very popular, the number of people attending the cinema started to dip and many cinema owners were keen to find a new way to make money and to bring people to their venue. It turns out that bingo was one such venture and the British bingo boom was on. Of course, that boom time is no longer with us but many people still love a game of bingo, just not as many people as used to enjoy bingo on a regular basis.
Manchester is currently bracing itself for the news that two grand bingo halls may no longer be part of the city landscape. This is down to the fact that the Theatres Trust have placed two of the theatres on the “at risk” register, both requiring a lot of ongoing repair work to remain open. Both of the buildings date back to the 1900s and are amongst the few remaining examples of the Roccoco style. The Hulme Hippodrome and the Hulme Playhouse are both Grade II listed buildings but after standing empty for so long, their condition is not what it should be. The Hippodrome itself has a very strong history, welcoming Laurel & Hardy and The Beatles (although not on the same bill) before bingo took over and became one of the biggest nights in the city. It is unlikely that bingo will ever feature strongly in the future of these buildings but you can only hope that there is some form of future for these buildings.