Haunted Blackpool – Empire Cinema

The Empire Cinema, or Empire Bingo Hall is located on Hawes Side Lane in Marton.   There are many reports of strange things happening in the building and it is a popular location for local ghost hunters to explore.

The Building as a Cinema

The Empire Cinema was a purpose-built 929 seat theatre that opened it’s doors on August 5th 1929.  By 1939, the cinema had grown enough to accommodate 1,094 cinema-goers.  In it’s heyday it was a popular venue for watching movies, but it didn’t take long for the venue to become out-dated and with the introduction of television and competition from other cinemas in Blackpool, the Empire Cinema couldn’t compete. 

Closure and Future Use

By 1941, the cinema has expanded again to include 1,164 seats and this allowed the venue to continue to operate for almost another 2 decades.  The cinema had to close it’s doors on October 10th 1959.

The Empire Cinema was one of two cinemas in the Marton area and they both ended up closing at roughly the same time as each other.

Once the building had stopped being used as cinema, it reopened as a bingo hall.  This seemed to bring better success to the venue and it still operates as a popular bingo hall today.

Strange Experiences in This Location

There have been several stories over the years of staff and bingo hall users claiming to have witnessed some strange things in the building.

A shadow of a man is sometimes seen.  There is also an apparition of a young child who stands on the balcony.  Some say that they have heard the far off cries of a mourning woman.  The cellars are also said to give people a creepy and uncomfortable feeling.