Date of closure: February 2008
Address (for reference only):
Gala Bingo in Wimborne Road is another victim of the economic, and legislative factors that have seen many a club call ‘eyes down’ for the last time. It has been taken over by Bournemouth Community Church, and plans are underway for a community resource. There will be children’s clubs, community events, and as well as facilities for youth. While bad news for local bingo players, at least the premises are remaining ‘within the community’, instead of being transferred into the hands of big business, which is often the way when a club closes down.
The premises opened in 1935 as the Moderne Cinema, which was designed by Edward G. de Wilde Holding in the ‘Modernist style’ – hence the name. Still standing, the cinema had 1500 seats, and was decorated in an Art Deco style, so it must have been quite an impressive venue in its heyday. After a long run as a cinema, it closed in 1983, and was refurbished as a bingo club and operated by Granada. Having been taken over by Gala it closed in 2008, and the building’s future is currently unknown.
By Gareth Whieldon (July 2010)