Typical UK Bingo Hall Buildings, Property Design, International Architecture
The Typical UK Bingo Hall
14 Jan 2021
Bingo in the UK remains incredibly popular. Although many players have taken to online UK sites in recent years, due to the proliferation of online bingo sites at their disposal, the UK still has a significant number of brick and mortar bingo establishments that attract thousands of players every week. While there isn’t necessarily a blueprint for bingo halls in the UK, many are similar in style and design, mainly because several chain halls dominate the industry, such as Mecca. In this post, we will take a look at the design of the typical bingo hall in the UK, as well as an example of one of the UK’s most interesting bingo halls.
One commonality shared between the majority of bingo halls in the UK is the layout. Although colour schemes and aesthetics vary significantly between venues, you will usually find a large open area in the centre of each building, where players sit at tables, usually to accommodate a party of two or four. In many modern bingo halls today, a sound system is utilised to broadcast the calling of numbers. More traditionally, there would be a stage upon which a compere would stand and call out the numbers.
It’s common to find bingo halls in repurposed venues such as old cinemas, theatres, and even nightclubs. This adds to many of these venues’ architectural charm, as many of the bingo halls preserve the charm and décor put in place by the previous tenants. The Sun recently published an article online outlining the most beautiful bingo halls in the UK. At the top of their list is the beautiful Buzz Bingo hall in Tooting, which is housed inside a Grade I listed building that was previously an Art Deco cinema in the 1930s. The venue played host to artists such as Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones in years gone by.
That being said, not all bingo halls are quite as salubrious, and it’s common to find bingo played in venues ranging from church halls, youth clubs, and working men’s clubs. For example, in some venues such as working men’s clubs, bingo is still played in the traditional format. Players are handed out cards at the start of the game, and a compere reads out the numbers from a stage. This can create quite the atmosphere and is how bingo first gained popularity earlier in the twentieth century. However, if you go to one of the larger bingo halls in the UK, you will find that the process is automated in the vast majority of cases, and you play on an electronic tablet. While this is more efficient, it certainly takes some of the sparkle out of the game!
Regarding the exterior of bingo halls in the UK, once again, this depends upon the venue. Many of the converted theatres and cinemas, such as Buzz Bingo in Tooting, retain much of the building’s charm and allure, making it an exceptional venue to play in. However, some of the chains, such as Mecca and Gala, simply place their signage on the front of the building in which they operate. Often they can look like a store frontage in a retail park, and they don’t really have any distinguishing features. But as has already been emphasised in this post, the exterior of bingo halls really just depends upon the building in which it is housed.
If you decide to visit a bingo hall in the UK, you will find a purpose-designed environment that focuses on giving you the best experience of playing bingo. For bingo enthusiasts, you may wish to visit one of the UK’s most stunning bingo halls, such as Buzz Bingo in Tooting, to experience bingo in a historic environment. Regardless of where you play, you will find that the process is very similar, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the game!
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