The town of Annan in Dumfries will be that little bit poorer come Summer, after the decision to close the town's only bingo hall was revealed on Monday.
Although the town's near 9,000 population may be left without bingo, film fans in Annan will be delighted to learn that the Ladystreet Bingo Club will pave way for a big cinema screen at the Lonsdale Cinema, the third in Annan.
The decision to close the bingo hall was made because since the Dumfries Odeon closed in June 2018, the Lonsdale cinema has grown in popularity and has been often sold out for the release of blockbuster films. This coincided with a deline the number of players at the once popular bingo venue.
Alan Towers, the Lonsdale owner said:
“A decision has been made that the Ladystreet Bingo Club will close in the summer, creating an opportunity for a third screen to be added to the Lonsdale Cinema.
“Architects are working on this proposal now. This should incorporate part of the old stalls area, but leave the front foyer and balcony onto Lady Street intact and available for rent in the future.”
“Bingo, being a craze with its heyday in the 1960s, has been a feature of the building for over 50 years.
“Sadly, lately, whereas it was always seen as a social occasion, this has become less prominent lately with so much gambling becoming anonymous and moving online thereby decreasing social participants.
“The cinema over the last 20 years has grown in admissions and this is an opportunity to offer a greater choice.”
News of the closure of Annan continues a worrying trend of bingo halls closing around the country. Reports of bingo halls being turned into pubs and bingo venues being converted into residential property are being reported across the UK with increasing and alarming regularity.