Date of closure: 1991
Address (for reference only):
We don’t know a great deal about this club, except for its previous life as a theatre, so, if you have any information regarding its closure, please let us know. We do know that the club was originally opened as the Queens Theatre in 1887, but was destroyed after only seven years by a fire in 1894. Two years later it had been rebuilt, and was reopened with seating for 1350 people.
It was a variety venue, but also showed films, until it was converted for increased cinema use under the name Empire Theatre, which continued to put on occasional stage shows. It was taken over in 1925, and later became part of the ABC chain who were taking over many of Britain’s cinemas at the time. The last film to be shown was ‘Harem Holiday’ starring Elvis Presley prior to the cinema’s closure in 1966.
The cinema was then converted for bingo, and went through several name changes until settling with its final name of Gala Bingo. In 1992, the premises suffered their second fire, and this one like the original was so severe that the premises had to be entirely demolished. To our knowledge bingo has not returned to the site.
By Gareth Whieldon (December 2010)