RESIDENTS have shared their memories of an iconic bingo hall which is now up for sale.

New Century Bingo Hall on Shirley Road was forced to close its doors after 22 years due to the pandemic.

The prominent building, which has stood empty since the first lockdown, opened to the public in 1912 as The Atherley, a movie theatre.

It was Southampton's oldest cinema and screened the finest of Hollywood. 

While the site has changed its leisure offerings over the years, many residents still refer to it as their "favourite" spot. 

Since news of the sale was confirmed, residents have been sharing their memories of Bingo Hall, revealing what they think the building should be converted to.

Whilst recalling the old days, Pete Allen said: "I played a gig there way back in 1965. It was a Saturday morning, and I was a drummer in a band. 

"We played before the Saturday matinee started, and I loved it; I thought I was a superstar. 

"The manager gave us 10 shillings, which is 50p nowadays. It gave me the bug for the entertainment game. Happy memories indeed."

Former staff member Scott McLeod said: "I worked there for three or four years, running the bar and buffet. I have some really good memories."

Nicola Goodwyn said: "I'd love it to be somewhere the kids can go, like a youth centre with games, a concession stall and special discos." 

Another resident, Sarah Rees, suggested: "I would love to see it turn into something like the Robins Nest Emporium, with loads of individual little traders in it."  

While ideas keep coming in, many would like the facility to be restored as a movie theatre or bingo hall.

Lee Bumstead said: "It would take a lottery win, but I would convert it back into a cinema." 

Estate agents Goadsby says the site has 'potential for re-development'.

A guide price is yet to be announced. 

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