Despite a pick up in financial results, Rank Group Plc, owners of Mecca Bingo, look likely to close another one of its long-standing bingo halls. This time, it is the venue in London's Camden Town that gets a visit from the Grim Bingo Reaper.
As reported in the local newspaper, Mecca Bingo are looking for ‘alternative options' for the historic venue after Mecca Bingo
Popular and Historic Venue
Built as the Gaumont Palace and opened in January 1937, with its main entrance around the corner on Parkway. It was a large cinema with over 2,700 seats and full-stage facilities.
It was renamed Odeon in 1964 and remodelled in 1968 when a bingo hall was created in the stalls
Closed by Odeon in 1979, it was leased out to independent operators for many years. Odeon took back the building and reopened it as a five-screen cinema in 1997. Mecca took over the bingo hall in 2000 as part of a lease agreement with Odeon Cinemas Ltd.
Open But For How Long?
Although no definite decision has yet to be officially made, the signs are not looking good for Camden Town's bingo goers. Should the popular bingo club close, bingo lovers will have to go to Cricklewood or Wood Green for their bingo.
A spokesman for Mecca Bingo Ltd said:
“I can confirm that the club is open and fully operational, but that we are looking into alternative options for the site.”
Richard McElroy, operations director at Mecca Bingo, added:
“Trading has been tough across hospitality, and regular bingo players have been slow to return to halls since the pandemic.
“Sadly, we are not seeing the footfall required to ensure the continued operation of our Camden club as a bingo hall, and therefore we are investigating alternative options for the site.
“The club will remain open to customers and fully operational until a decision has been reached.”
There are 23 jobs at the Mecca Bingo Camden venue whose future is now very much in doubt. The move to close Mecca Camden follows the closure of a number of Mecca Bingo clubs in the UK earlier this year.
There are unconfirmed reports that The Secret Cinema company are looking to take on the lease of the venue, which would see a return to its cinema roots.
However, this is yet to be confirmed.
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