Future Of Bingo Hall Uncertain
It seems as though the future of the Doncaster Grand Theatre, the venue for so many bingo memories over the years, is still very much up for debate. The Mayor of Doncaster has become embroiled in a war of words, or non-words with the owners of the Frenchgate shopping centre, who have refused to comment on the plans for the future of the building. The Mayor and local council have been determined to bring the Doncaster Grand back into the limelight and to ensure it gets the recognition it deserves. At the moment though, there is an impasse with the owners blanking calls for proper talks on the property.
Former bingo hall needs new lease of life
The Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, went public on the problems he is facing in bringing life back to this Doncaster icon and bingo home. He told the local newspaper, the Doncaster Star; “I am keen to get the Grand Theatre back in some sort of use, preferably as a theatre, but there are other possibilities. The most important thing is that the building is kept for future generations.”
“Originally I thought we were going to have a good relationship with the developer, and I thought we were getting somewhere to the point that we may get some sort of arrangement with the people who owned it. However, the current manager was told they could not discuss the theatre with me under any circumstances. She said she couldn’t talk about the Grand in any shape or form. I find this thoroughly unsatisfactory”
As well as being a popular bingo hall since the 1960s, the Doncaster Grand has an illustrious history with respect to theatre and live performances in the local area.
Charlie Chaplin performed here
The fact that silver screen legend Charlie Chaplin is known to have tread the boards of the theatre is another aspect that people are keen to preserve the hall for. There is no doubt that Chaplin remains a massive star, even long after his death and anything which can help to keep his memory alive is going to be seized upon by his loyal fan base. He may have made his name in the silent movie era but his fan base is a very vocal one and will work hard to keep his memory and big moments alive.
It may not be the case when a big bingo game is taking place but in most cases, it is good to talk.
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