A ‘Stars’ is born - plans approved for entertainment venue in former Great Yarmouth bingo hall

Ian Bromwich with his son Adam, outside the former Mecca Bingo hall on Regent Street, Yarmouth. Ian Bromwich with his son Adam, outside the former Mecca Bingo hall on Regent Street, Yarmouth.

Monday, January 27, 2014
9:51 AM

An “exciting” show bar and nightclub in the former Mecca Bingo Hall will be called Stars, it can be revealed.

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Supplied pictures of the former Mecca Bingo hall on Regent Street, Yarmouth.Supplied pictures of the former Mecca Bingo hall on Regent Street, Yarmouth.

The proposed Regent Road venue was welcomed with open arms by planning councillors, who voted unanimously to approve the application on Tuesday.

Ian Bromwich, 62, and his son Adam, 30, have been working for three months to refurbish the attraction, and hope to open it before Easter.

They formed a limited company called A and I Bromwich Promotions to submit their successful planning application.

Adam, who has owned the Marine pub in Marine Parade for three years, explained it would offer family entertainment.

Supplied pictures of the former Mecca Bingo hall on Regent Street, Yarmouth.Supplied pictures of the former Mecca Bingo hall on Regent Street, Yarmouth.

This would include live shows with well-known acts, pantomimes at Christmas, wrestling events in the summer season and family shows.

There would be children’s shows early in the day, and the pair hope to keep the venue open until 4am as a nightclub - though the applicants have yet to gain an alcohol licence.

Adam said: “Everybody’s up for it. They’re all backing us.

“A venue like this - there’s only one thing you can use it for.”

They said they do not want photos from inside the venue to appear in the paper until refurbishment has finished - so locals get the wow factor.

Adam estimated there is space for 1,000 people standing downstairs for gigs, and there are 400 seats upstairs.

Historic photos of the venue, which opened in 1914 as the Regent Cinema, are being used to help guide the refurbishment of the main hall - where two bars have been fitted - and the former tea room.

“It’s just somewhere for people to enjoy a safe environment, watch a show and have a dance,” said Adam.

They hope to preserve the elegance of the venue, with its chandelier-style lighting and Louis XVI style decor.

Ian said: “It’s staying as it was. That’s why we bought it - we didn’t want to board it up.

“It’s got character.

“We’re very pleased that it’s all done and dusted apart from the alcohol licence.”

At Tuesday’s meeting of Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s planning committee the application was explained.

There will be four members of the Bromwich family employed full-time and a further 10 part-time jobs.

Stephen Barrett, the applicant’s agent, played down fears of noise from the nightclub side of the proposal.

He said takeaways in the area already open late and Regent Road is a thoroughfare from the town centre to seafront bars.

And he said explained the idea for 4am opening was for people to stay and chat after shows, with an entry charge, smart dress policy and experienced doormen.

“When you say nightclub, you think of places like Prince of Wales Road in Norwich, but that’s not the intention,” he added.

Charles Reynolds, councillor for Ormesby ward, said: “I find this very exciting.

“When that place shut I thought ‘what on earth is going to happen to it’, and the applicant is a very brave man.”

He told the meeting he was pleased some establishments such as the Long Bar had closed.

But he added: “We should give this guy a chance.”

Kerry Robinson-Payne, councillor for Nelson ward, said Stars would “breathe life” back into Yarmouth.

And Mick Castle, chairman of the planning committee, reasoned it would help keep a nighttime economy in Yarmouth when much of it is migrating to Norwich.

He said many nightclubs such as Rosie’s have been lost, and added: “It’s good to have a nighttime economy even though it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.”

The application won unanimous support, and the applicants will need to make their case to the licensing committee at a later date.

A grand opening event is planned at Stars, with details to be announced nearer the time.

9 comments

  • I can't see what is wrong with employing your own family . Any so called crumbs thrown to the public should be appreciated when people take a chance on a new business and may lose a fortune. Good on the Marine landlord we need more like him to stimulate the town.

    Report this comment

    Mike Smith

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • So they have been working for 3 months, without planning permission, to get it ready to open. That should be rerason enough to reject the application, and then to rub salt into the wounds, they employ their own family full time and throw a few part time crumbs to the locals and planners as a sweetner to get permission. This is typical seafront actions. Time this planning dept was reported as not being fit for purpose.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • Well said "Spooky" Some people thrive on trying to put others down, They tend to be very sour and loanly people with very few friends. Im glad this town has a very limited number of these people in the town, Such negative comments should remain few and far between. As for doing work before the permision was given, Well I would suspect the council visited the site and listed there requirements, and the vendor then attended to those requirements, Seems simple to me !!!!!!! But hay lets slate the council for letting 10 people work part time, Bad Bad Council, How do you sleep at night, Letting good honest people have the chance of employment !!!

    Report this comment

    Sean

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • "V" what a load of rubbish, You don't know the people involved in this venture, The Bromwich family have a lovely pub on marine parade which has a fantastic reputation, great food too I must add, If Great Yarmouth was full of closed minded people like you then this town would crumble even further into poverty, 10 part time jobs on opening a new venue is FANTASTIC news for the town, Hat's off to a family who are willing to take a risk on our once great town, With more people like the Bromwich family maybe, Just maybe Yarmouth will become GREAT once again, Well done to all involved in making this happen, And I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing you all a very prosperous future !!!

    Report this comment

    Sean

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Sean & MS. You obviously like what this town has become, a low wage, long hours, part time, slave labour economy, most of it from the seafront. No wonder there is a lot of crime in Yarmouth. Even the outer disaster employees are on zero hours contracts, and the useless council welcomes this with open arms. As for planning permission, why were they allowed to start renovations without planning consent ?. Although I do wish them well, I cant help but think that this part of it stinks.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I have to say it sounds good, shame that the only full time staff are family members though. I will probably take a look when it opens, However, if they are saying live shows with well-known acts, pantomimes at Christmas, and family shows, how will that affect Britannia Pier (well known acts and maybe family show) and St George's Theatre (Panto's etc) at various times of the year? One thing though, hopefully, the well known acts won't include some of the rubbish ones they get at the Britannia Pier, maybe they'd like to do certain nights in there commemorating each decade from maybe the 1930's, that's something nobody does. Wish them luck anyway.

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • "V" what a load of rubbish, You don't know the people involved in this venture, The Bromwich family have a lovely pub on marine parade which has a fantastic reputation, great food too I must add, If Great Yarmouth was full of closed minded people like you then this town would crumble even further into poverty, 10 part time jobs on opening a new venue is FANTASTIC news for the town, Hat's off to a family who are willing to take a risk on our once great town, With more people like the Bromwich family maybe, Just maybe Yarmouth will become GREAT once again, Well done to all involved in making this happen, And I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing you all a very prosperous future !!!

    Report this comment

    Sean

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • No offence V but I'm beginning to think that V stands for vindictive, I have seen your comments in other articles and they are of the same negative views you have here when something may be good for Yarmouth. The new Stars entertainment centre isn't exactly on the seafront, it's between there and the town centre so can't be classed as 'typical seafront actions' as you say. Also at the moment, I'm sure there are a lot of people that think a job, even part time and low wage is worth having.

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Well done to you both for taking on the challenge of such a huge historic building. Hopefully this will not be the last of your projects in the town..I wonder whats happening with the Anna Sewell house? Another historic building with lots of potential.

    Report this comment

    Debbie

    Friday, January 24, 2014

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