Information - - demo of mecca/crown bingo, formerly shaftesbury cinema - portsmouth | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Information - demo of mecca/crown bingo, formerly shaftesbury cinema - portsmouth


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
hi all,

just thought i’d post a little update for you all. this little gem is being torn down.

had my eye on this one for a little while since i knew it was closing (so a couple of years at least), but never managed it as it was always very tight and well looked after. looked in great condition, one of the best former cinemas in pompey from what i’ve heard, drove by today to see it being torn down!

attached history from cinema treasures:

“The Shaftesbury Hall was opened in 1890. By 1910 it was operating as a cinema. Around 1930 it was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system, and was re-named Shaftesbury Cinema. It suffered some damage by German bombs on 10th January 1941. Repairs were carried out and it soon re-opened.
The Shaftesbury Cinema was closed in 1959, and was the first cinema in the city to be converted into a bingo club in 1960.
By 1966 it was operated by the Classic Cinemas chain of London as one of their Vogue Bingo Clubs. In 1969, the former circle was converted into a 220-seat cinema. In April 1974 it was taken over by Mecca Bingo, and they closed the cinema in April 1975, converting the entire building back into a Mecca Bingo Club. For many years it has been operated by the local Crown Bingo Clubs chain.
By 2018 the bingo club had closed and proposals were made to demolish the auditorium and build flats on the site. The front of the building and foyer would be retained and converted into a shop in the former foyer and a flat above. In June 2019 the building was ‘For Sale’ with residential development approved.”

facade in 2018 when it was open

and here’s a pic of the demo from today. sorry for the quality, was driving!

and an old one

facade still totally intact, and the inside was mint condition when it was open. fantastic example of the era and great condition for a 130 year old building. criminal it’s allowed to be pulled down, but that’s portsmouth city councils track record unfortunately

thought i’d give you all an update so trips aren’t wasted. not sure exactly what’s gone because i couldn’t get round back at the time and you can’t see from the road, but seeing how much roof is gone, presumably the facade is all that’s left


28DL Member
28DL Member
I live just around the corner and have always wanted to see the inside as I remember my nan going here when I was younger still not gone to see if there is a way in would be a good explore


Has a weak spot for staircases
28DL Full Member
Tried and failed how far through demo are they they might be silly enough to leave a opening?