Just hours after revealing the shock closure of Mecca Bingo Sale, BingoDaily has learned of yet another iconic bingo hall closure.
The Deluxe, in Pelham Place, Hastings, on the South Coast of England, confirmed to the local press that after 40 years servicing the Hastings community, the balls will be called for the very last time this coming Sunday, the 26th of February.
The bingo hall on the seafront has been at the heart of the Hastings community for more than four decades. However, the building enjoyed a rich and splendid history before becoming a bingo hall.
The Empire Theatre of Varieties opened on the 30th of March 1899 on a site that was vacated by the Marine Hotel. The theatre was designed by Ernest Runtz, a well-known Theatre designer, and it was built using 1.25 million bricks by local builder Peter Jenkins.
The outside of the building was clad with ornate terracotta tiles and topped with two copper-clad domes. It also featured a balcony at first-floor level. The interior was elaborately decorated with Ivory coloured walls, gilding, satin and velvet upholstery and plush green carpet. The capacity for the building was 1,500 persons, making it one of the larger theatres of its time.
Renamed the ‘Hippodrome Theatre' in 1907, just five years later, in 1912, it was converted into a cinema and renamed the ‘Royal Cinema Deluxe.'
The building would keep this name minus the Royal part, which disappeared at some point, until 1965, when the cinema closed and was converted into a Bingo hall. At this point, the original interior remained untouched. However, in 1970 the interior of the building was completely gutted, and a floor was built where the Circle once was. Any trace of its original fittings was sadly disposed of. At the same time, the entrance and ground floor facade was also destroyed, an Orange chipboard was constructed over the terracotta tiles, and a plastic canopy was installed.
The ground floor became an Amusement arcade, with the bingo moving upstairs. In 1978 further changes took place with the addition of snooker/pool halls and a restaurant.
And now, on Sunday, February 26th, the Deluxe bingo hall will call its last balls.
No comment or explanation has been provided for the closure, and no statement is on the Deluxe website or social media pages.
Ben has been an massive bingo enthusiast and fan since playing at the seaside as a kid. Dedicated to bringing you the latest and best bingo news from the UK