Maltby: Sadness as fire destroys old cinema

Firefighters tackle a blaze at a former bingo hall in Muglet Lane, Maltby on Monday
Firefighters tackle a blaze at a former bingo hall in Muglet Lane, Maltby on Monday

A Maltby town councillor has spoken of his sadness at seeing the old cinema and bingo hall destroyed by fire.

Coun Keith Stringer says he can remember going to watch films at the old Grand Cinema in the 1960s.

And he, along with many others in the town, watched in horror and dismay after the building was consumed by flames.

“The last film I saw there was The Graduate and my wife remembers the children’s matinees there on Saturday mornings,” he recalled.

“It is so sad to see such a building with so much history so badly damaged.”

“I sincerely hope that repairs are possible so that the people of Maltby can preserve and maintain a large part of its history.”

The derelict building went up in flames on Monday afternoon and remained ablaze for over five hours, during which time the roof caved in and collapsed, as fire crews fought to control the inferno.

Six fire engines were called to the scene at around 1.20pm on the day and were there for over 10 hours, putting out the flames and damping down.

Emergency services cordoned off the area and surrounding roads were closed, with Muglet Road, where the building stood, not reopening until Tuesday morning.

Coun Stringer said he had a clear view across Coronation Park of the fire having been in the Edward Dunn Memorial Hall when it started.

“First there was smoke to be seen for a time, and then all of a sudden, very large and high flames became visible that I estimated were coming from the roof of the building,” he continued.

“The sound of a number of sirens became more intense as the flames grew higher.

“People then gathered at the park fence on Tickhill Road to watch the fire and the damage that was being done.”

The building opened as the Grand Cinema in the 1930s before becoming a bingo hall in the 1970s.

More recently, it was used as a kitchen warehouse but had been empty for several years prior to the fire.

No-one was injured in the incident and an invesitgation into the cause of the fire is likely to begin shortly.