Just a little over three months since the Empire Bingo Club in Hawes Side Lane, Blackpool confirmed that it has closed permanently, permission has been given by Blackpool council to tear the 91-year old historic building down.
One of the first big casualties of the coronavirus lockdown, the iconic bingo hall was forced to close because of the age of the building and the work needed in order to meet health and safety guidelines under the pandemic.
In a statement released at the time of the closure, the Bottomley family, who owned the former cinema for 46 years, said:
“The Empire Bingo has been a strong and sturdy social hub for thousands of people over the past 46 years.
“With the same family running the bingo club it created a safe space for many people.
“The customers and staff have always been the driving force behind the bingo successfully owned and run by Elaine Bottomley.
“The Empire has sailed through storms and calm waters, however the tide has now turned and the Empire is moving in a different direction.
“We would like to thank our members who have stuck by the club in the best of times and the worst of times. We wish them all the happiness and we hope they hold onto the best of memories as we will do as a family.”
Blackpool council confirmed this week that permission had been granted for the demolition.
Now, the Bottomley family is hoping to apply for further planning permission in order to build an unspecified number of houses on the site located in prime central Blackpool.
The demolition of one Empire Bingo Club follows the recent announcement of the former Buzz Bingo Chorley branch set for demolition.
With a number of bingo clubs closing over the summer, we can expect more reports of bingo halls being demolished.