Date of closure: April 2011
Address (for reference only):
All Saints Green
Mecca Bingo in All Saints Green was closed due to repair costs that if met, would have rendered the bingo hall a commercially unviable. The premises originally opened as the as the Carlton Cinema in 1932, and after an enlargement in 1934 the building had a fairly impressive seating capacity of 1,920. After a couple of takeovers, and a name change to Gaumont, the cinema lasted until 1973, having survived the bingo takeovers of the sixties. It was a bit of a rock and roll venue in its day, Bill Hailey And The Comets having played there, as well as the Rolling Stones.
The bingo hall appears to have been very popular, particularly with Norwich’s elderly residents, many of whom have have expressed sadness at the loss, particularly as the venue had a real family atmosphere and was obviously a source of community interaction for many, not just entertainment.
The building’s problems have been put down to structural issues, and since the venue has closed, shuttle buses have been put on to transport bingo players to the Aylsham Road bingo club, which is now the last one remaining in Norwich.
By Gareth Whieldon (May 2011)
Just over a year after the closure, it looks like bingo’s departure from All Saints Green is going to be made permanent. Permission has been granted by the council for demolition of the club, although a date has not been set. Owners Telereal Trillium have not made public what they plan to do with the land, but we are guessing that it will either be retails outlets or a residential new build. Apparently, due to the sites’s bombing in the second world war, there is speculation as to whether there may be any unexploded bombs on the site, which could be disturbed during the demolition operation.
By Gareth Whieldon (May 2012)
Two years later, the premises have still not been demolished. A local man has called for the possibility of the venue being returned to a place of entertainment, as apparently it has fantastic accoustics. Hopefully this may forestall the impending demolition.
By Gareth Whieldon (April 2014)
The building has now been demolished, and it is not known what will actually be done with the land.
By Gareth Whieldon (September 2014)
The site is now undergoing a massive construction operation. Student accommodation is being built with the capacity for 244 students. Luckily, anyone seeking a game of bingo can still enjoy a night out at the nearby Mecca Bingo in Norwich – see below for address.
By Gareth Whieldon (July 2017)