Date of closure: 21st June 2009
Address (for reference only):
Crystal Palace Gala Bingo Hall has closed as a result of a Gala Bingo ‘restructuring exercise’, and accompanies other closures in the company’s bid to combat falling profits, and retain the chain’s overall financial viability.
Local residents were hoping that the premises would be returned to their original purpose, a cinema which closed in 1968, and have got together to petition the local council and have even ventured into the world of a ‘Facebook support group’.
Although interest in the premises had been expressed by a cinema company, unfortunately supporters’ actions have been to no avail, and the premises have been bought by an evangelical church. This sadly leaves local residents with nowhere to play bingo, or watch the movies.
By Gareth Whieldon (March 2010)
We’re are not exactly sure what has gone on in the interim, but it appears that buyers of the venue were not given planning permission to change the usage to that of a place of worship. And, meanwhile, campaigners have succeeded in getting the premises listed as “an asset of community value”. So it looks like although it’s unlikely to be returned to it’s previous bingo hall status, at least it will be a place of community entertainment, as there are plans afoot to revert the premises to cinema usage.
By Gareth Whieldon (April 2014)
Three years on, the building has not been converted into a place of worship as planning permission has been denied (twice) for a ‘change of use’. The result of this is that the owners Kingsway International Christian Centre, have decided to sell up. This potentially paves the way for the venue returning as a cinema if a suitable new owner steps forward. Although the building is listed as an asset of community value (ASV) this does not however tie the church into selling to a community based enterprise. However, any new owners will likely be again bound by council planning regulations. Watch this space for more news on the fate of the old Gala Bingo site.
By Gareth Whieldon (July 2017)
Other Lost Halls In The Area
These images from 2001 show a rather plain exterior of a bingo hall, but once inside we can see the grandeur of this ex-cinema building. The decor is not over the top, but more of an understated plushness exemplified by the proscenium curtains, and art deco chandeliers. This venue would appear to have been built for both variety and cinema, although ‘boxes’ are not in evidence. The ceiling panelling is another interesting feature, and overall, the club appears to be in a state of good repair.
By Gareth Whieldon (September 2010)
If you have any photos from this lost hall, be it of its interior, the staff, special events, parties, customers and more; and you’d like to share them here, please contact us to arrange adding them to the site.