Friday, May 7, 2021

News: Rotherham bingo hall's number is up


There will be no full houses at a Rotherham bingo hall anytime soon after operators announced that it will not be re-opening.

Mecca Bingo has confirmed that its venue on Corporation Street in Rotherham town centre is closing permanently.

It is thought that the lease on 26,000 sq ft property was due to expire this year.

The Rank Group, which owns Mecca, has seen venues closed during the Covid pandemic as a result of lockdowns, tiering closures and curfew, with revenues halved and losses incurred. Mecca's like-for-like revenue comparison for between the six months ended 31 December 2020 and the same period in the previous year was down 56%.

Just last month, John O'Reilly, CEO of Rank, said: "Our business has inevitably been heavily impacted by the pandemic but, with the strong support and dedication of our colleagues, we are now very much looking forward to reopening our casino and bingo venues, welcoming back our customers and providing the great entertainment and omni-channel service in a COVID safe environment we know they enjoy."

However, a statement on the Mecca website this week , said: "It's with a very heavy heart we have to announce that Mecca Bingo Rotherham will be closing permanently.

"We want to take the opportunity to thank you, our wonderful customers, and our team for the MECCA-tastic years! Thank you for your loyalty and all the great memories we've made together.

"Our closest club Sheffield Flat Street opens from 17th May, and we hope to welcome you all there to keep making great memories and to bring you the usual Mecca fun."

The building, which was previously a cinema was due to go up for auction twice in 2018 with a guide price of £875,000 - £925,000 and then £800,000 but the lots were withdrawn twice.

UPDATE - The property did sell at auction in 2019 for £575,000.

The substantial building, currently set out as a bingo hall, includes a reception area, gaming hall and ancillary and office accommodation over lower ground, ground, first and mezzanine floors.

Auction documents showed that the property is entirely let to Mecca Bingo Limited until 2021 at a current rent of £125,950 per annum. The tenant had an option to extend the lease.

The property previously sold in 2014, when it went for £880,000, also at auction.

Recommended reading: Rotherham Gaming Café Success Stories Making Waves The building, which auctioneers said "may lend itself to a variety of uses and redevelopment subject to obtaining all the necessary consents," is situated alongside the key regeneration site in the town centre - Forge Island.

Originally opened in December 1934 as the Regal Cinema the building was commissioned by Thomas Wade Cinemas Ltd of Wath-upon-Dearne, and designed by Messrs Blackmore and Sykes, Architects, of Hull. It had seating for 1,825, and was fully equipped for stage performances with three dressing rooms, and a theatre organ.

The site became the Odeon in 1946 and the café was turned into a Victor Sylvester ballroom in the 1960s. The cinema was taken over by Rank in 1975 and renamed La Scala. It showed its last film in 1983. It opened up for bingo as the Ritz, but was then taken over by Mecca Bingo.

Mecca website

Images: Google Maps


Anonymous,  May 7, 2021 at 2:20 PM  

Will this be another building that gets burnt-out and has to be demolished? Can't be turned into a cinema, that would spoil the Council's Forge Island plans.

Anonymous,  May 7, 2021 at 3:13 PM  

Would love to see the council buy it and move the theatre across town.

Scott Engering May 7, 2021 at 4:46 PM  

Akthough not listed, it still has some original Art Deco buildings and adds much neded cultural value to the town...

Sheffield 100 May 7, 2021 at 9:39 PM  

Many a happy Saturday morning was spent at the odeon for the kids "Saturday club" with many of my friends from St. Ann's school good times in the 70s!I'm sure many of you will have fond memories

old git May 8, 2021 at 11:17 AM  

and yet another business leaves rotherham
soon will be as desolute as Beirut

only space left for the druggies,,,when are the council going to do something about those.

decent people are worried about going into town on an evening these days.

Cinema Dreamer,  May 8, 2021 at 7:16 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Hensby May 10, 2021 at 5:16 PM  

And the final insult is the company inviting the good folk of Rotherham over to their Sheffield bingp hall.


Hope they go bust!

Mr me May 11, 2021 at 10:38 AM  

As said above, would convert well into a new larger theatre, in a much better locality than present civic. RMBC probably not got foresight though, probably more chance of there usual favourite "green space"!

Anonymous,  May 11, 2021 at 4:02 PM  

Knock it down for green space after all we don’t seem to have much !

Carolann asquith May 30, 2021 at 5:14 PM  

Bring it back the ppl of Rotherham loved the bingo hall

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