Final Moments Of Blackpool’s Empire Bingo Hall When The Building Collapses

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Final Moments Of Blackpool’s Empire Bingo Hall When The Building Collapses

A piece of Blackpool history was lost yesterday (April 6th) when the demolition of one of Blackpool’s most iconic buildings was nearly complete.

Excavators were shot by local photographer Stephen Cheatley on Tuesday as they tore into the remains of the Empire Bingo and Social Club on Hawes Side Lane.

The 1929 building was demolished last June to the horror of its owners.

The bingo hall had been in the same family for 46 years, but when the decision was made, it was the right time to open the curtain on what had become a cinema with nine employees.

The iconic venue had been a strong and resilient social hub for thousands of people over the decades.

Photographer Stephen Cheatley said, “My mother Judith Cheatley has been there regularly for the past 20 years.

“She was there with friends and they were all sitting in groups at tables where they liked to compete against each other.

“The National Prize was most of the night that saw bingo joining other clubs across the country and the prize pool was thousands of pounds.

“The empire had a large following from the older generation, but not as much support from the younger generation. It has been slowly declining over the past 20 years.”

The demolition of the building is to give way to new apartments.

Many locals used social media to share their different memories of the iconic venue, which offered many different entertainment experiences.

A Facebook user said, “It’s so sad it’s going away, it opened as a bingo hall in the year I was born in ’74. I’ve had many good nights here and will be Elaine, the owner and all Staff, miss. “

Another said of his life as a cinema: “I saw my first adult film there in the early 1940s, ‘The Lady Vanishes’ 70 years later.”

Another eluded live bands that performed there: “I think some up-and-coming bands played there in the early 70s too. Curved Air, Hawkwind, that sort of thing.”

One man on Facebook simply added, “Another piece of history is going.”

A closer look at the demolition of the Empire Bingo and Social Club on Hawes Side Lane, Blackpool