Carlisle Gala Bingo – Warwick Road

This Club Is Closed Or Demolished
  • Photograph by: Keith Rose - Exterior of the now closed Gala Bingo Carlisle - Warwick Road

Date of closure: 2004

Address (for reference only):

Gala Bingo
Warwick Road

Gala Bingo Carlisle opened in 1978 in the stalls area of a former cinema. It closed in 2004 after quite a long run, and was relocated to another area in the city, although we are not quite sure of the reason for this. The original cinema, the Lonsdale was an impressive building, opening in 1931 with an impressive 1880 seats. An Art Deco style building, it had a 48 foot wide proscenium, and full audio support until the talkies came to the big cinemas.

A stunning building which is still standing at time of print, it had a stained glass window which depicted Carlisle Castle in its foyer, and like many cinemas, it was taken over by ABC, until it eventually became a bingo hall.

The building’s future is uncertain as although it had its listed status removed, it is still within the town’s conservation area, which should hopefully keep the wolves at bay. This is a bit of a victory, as previously plans had come to light of a complete demolition, and building of residential premises.

By Gareth Whieldon (July 2010)

Update: The building has now suffered damage due to a suspicious fire on November 28th 2010, which started in the area of the disused bingo hall. The blaze was quite severe requiring the aid of twenty fire-persons to douse the flames. A de-listed Grade II building it is now up for sale and this recent turn of events makes its future even more uncertain.

By Gareth Whieldon (November 2010)

2 thoughts on “Carlisle Gala Bingo – Warwick Road

  1. I became the first manager of the club when it was converted from a cinema to a bingo club in the stalls area with a cinema in the former balcony area. The manager of the cinema side of the complex was managed by a real old school character Mr Buccleuch. My duties were to oversee the conversion of the building, re-crute staff, enroll new members to the club and arrange promotional activities. We had a great time, we were very, very busy for almost ten years and we had a great relationship with the local newspaper who would print copy and photographs of our promotions on a regular basis, also, presenters from Border TV also attended our special evenings for charity events. Three Mayors of Carlisle were also regular members of the club and on special events visited us in their full regalia. The staff we recruited were fantastic, I have a number of photographs of the original staff and if anyone is interested I would be happy to scan them and forward then to you. I moved on to Wigan after approx ten years, the company was then acquired by Gala Clubs, I spent another ten years managing the Wigan Club before I set up my own business. I would love to hear from anyone who was involved in the above the club duringbthe early years.

    It’s sad to see the premises have fallen into such disrepair.

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