Dudley Hippodrome - former Bingo Hall - Castle Hill, Dudley
This is the former Dudley Hippodrome on Castle Hill in Dudley. Until recently it was used as a Bingo Hall by Gala.
The Hippodrome, built as a ‘twice nightly’ theatre in 1938 next door to the Plaza and opposite the Odeon Cinema, replaced the Opera House, destroyed by fire in 1936, on the same site. Externally like a super cinema of the time, in buff brick. At the centre, above the canopy, there were originally glazed, now blind, panels between the brick end bays, divided by two tall brick mullions. Above this a deep brick attic is divided by five horizontal bands. The name HIPPODROME in a central panel has been removed. Plain flank. Fly tower. Small foyer. The fan-shaped auditorium has not been destructively altered for bingo use. Stalls rake rises to a rear terrace. Single, steeply raked, deep balcony. Square proscenium with moulded architrave. Ceiling and walls with simple moulded ornament. Major adaptations have been made within the stage house. The building is well maintained and the interior still has a theatrical ‘feel’. It would be possible to return it to live use, but it would be necessary to remove the structural steelwork inserted in the fly tower. The stage is quite shallow, but there is open land at the rear.
Taken from the footbridge that crosses the Dudley Southern Bypass (from the steps / ramp on this side coming down).
There was a light sprinkle of snow in Dudley - was cold in this area.