With restrictions finally easing, bingo fans will be preparing their dabbers and their best “HOUSE!” calls as halls throughout the area prepare to welcome punters hoping to hit the jackpot.
Before they open on May 17 it seemed like the perfect chance to dive into our archives to see those who had their eyes on the prize over the years.
Excitement filled the room at Dundee Green’s Mecca Bingo on June 5 1981. There was a brand new high-tech machine in use which promised to upgrade the game, however, it wasn’t to be with the machine breaking down on its debut performance.
Isobel Sulley was on the mic in May 1970 as she had the job of calling out the numbers at a bingo competition in the city.
In her role as the bingo caller Isobel would have had to ensure she was right up to scratch on her bingo calling quotes and not mix up her two fat ladies and two little ducks.
As with many of Dundee’s old time theatres, when the acting performances stopped a new type of entertainment rolled into town. You guessed it – bingo.
The Royal Picture House on Arthurstone Terrace was no exception with the theatre building being transformed in to the Royal Bingo Club in 1961.
It is clear to see that the stage would no longer be used for theatrics, instead it was used to hang the coats of the city’s bingo fans.
When it comes to post-coronavirus bingo I think we can all safely say that there will not be packed crowds like the one below for a very long time.
The Green’s Playhouse on the Nethergate was also changed into a bingo hall in 1968, just 32-years after the Art Deco styled playhouse was originally opened.
Not many refurbishments were put in place to change the use from theatre to bingo hall as can be seen from the image below, taken in 1979.
By May 1991 the Mecca Bingo Hall was still packed to capacity with every bit of space being utilised by focused players, including the former stage area.
The Nethergate venue welcomed a very special guest in March 1992 as ‘Catchphrase’ host Roy Walker was pictured with contestants and management at the club as part of the Catchphrase Roadshow.
If you go to the Mecca Bingo Hall now you will certainly realise that it doesn’t look anything like the images above.
The original theatre building was destroyed by a fire in August 1995 with only the iconic advertising tower surviving.
The fire damaged building can be seen being demolished later that same month in the image below – with crowds of onlookers watching the work taking place.
Luckily for bingo fans though, a new building specifically designed for Mecca was built in its place and after a quick turnaround it was back open by 1997.
Crowds once again packed the venue in November 1997 and they were even treated to some bagpipe entertainment during an interval too.
Below there is a picture of a packed hall of participants patiently awaiting the next round at the new Douglasfield Bingo Hall in July 1998.
In true 90s fashion most of the patrons of the packed Mecca Bingo Hall in Dundee’s Nethergate, below, were kitted out with some spectacular sepia toned, large, spectacles. Hopefully the glasses helped a number of these punters ensure they never missed a full house.