End of era as Norwich bingo hall is demolished

The former Mecca Bingo building in All Saints Green, Norwich,  is demolished. Photo: Bill Smith The former Mecca Bingo building in All Saints Green, Norwich, is demolished. Photo: Bill Smith

Thursday, August 28, 2014
10:59 AM

For decades, it was a place where the shout was ‘eyes down’, but now it is the walls of a former bingo hall which have come tumbling down.

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The building which housed Mecca Bingo, in All Saints Green, Norwich, survived a bomb drop during the Second World War, but has not escaped the march of progress.

Landowner Telereal Trillium started work to pave the way to knock down the building, which dates back to the 1930s, earlier this summer.

A look back at cinematic history of Norwich’s Mecca Bingo

And now, the actual demolition has begun, bringing the curtain down on a building which also served as a theatre and cinema. In 1964, the Rolling Stones played there.

It remains unclear what the future holds for the site.

20 comments

  • Sounds like a great place to park all those blooming bicycles that the council is so keen on, but I would prefer a nice green park with trees and seats.

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    Union Jack

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • As long as it not just left to become overgrown with weeds and empty cans of cider. Maybe Archant could run a competition or set up a poll so ideas from the public can be collated?

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    Whiley Boy

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • The value of that patch of land means it ain't gonna be a car park or a "nice green open space"........... Another bit of local history vanishes for ever.

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    marty r

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • I remember it, not as a Bingo Hall but as a Cinema, spent many happy Saturday morning there watch Westerns, Batman etc, in the early 1960s

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    turnover

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • foxey to your idea I would add to a little tea room -- but these days unfortunately the well being of shoppers and workers alike seems to be low priority!

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    PeterM

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • How about a nice open green space with seats and water fountain for workers and shoppers to gather their thoughts for the day,

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    foxey

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • An ideal site for a much needed city centre car park - as our council are so anti car, perhaps John Lewis will purchase it for a multi story car park with a connecting bridge into the store.

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    Norfolk John

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • "bringing the curtain down on a building which also served as a theatre and cinema."

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    Piranha24

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Thank god, another useless eyesore gone. Car Park, flats, another Tesco (the nearest one is about 300 yards away, too far), all would be great.

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    Piranha24

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Hi Bumble7, I agree that it should be remembered as more than a bingo hall. It should be remembered as much for it's cinematic legacy as anything else. In this day and age, we are all so quick to forget our roots. I for one recall many a pleasant occassion when the former bingo hall, was indeed a cinema and it was ahead of it time. Whilst the article mentions it being a bingo hall, I believe that this has been done as this is what most people will recognise this iconic building as. Those of us more golden oldies are lucky to recall it for was it's original purpose was and that what is people like you and I will share and treasure.

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    Whiley Boy

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • This building started life in 1932 as the Carlton cinema. It was the first Norwich cinema designed for 'talkies'. During its lifetime the cinema was expanded and turned 90 degrees to its final position. It was taken over by the Odeon circuit in 1939 and renamed the Gaumont in 1959. It was the first cinema in Norwich to install 70mm and six channel sound. This enable a record breaking run of the Sound of Music which went on for several months! Live shows included many top line performers including Bill Haley and the Comets heralding the RocknRoll era. Ugly though the building has become it is a bit dismissive of Norwich cinema history to headline the event as 'Bingo hall demolished'.

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    bumble7

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Very sad as I used to play bingo there and won many prizes

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    blister

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • we don`t need flats in the city, we need stores that will bring more customers to the area. I agree that flats is a sure way quick buck, but with the internet market so strong shorly councils should be thinking its a prime area and we need to look at other cities and see what attracts people. all I ask is that it`s not another Tesco`s please.

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    VoiceYourView

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • A nice little park or mini market place would be most pleasant, not flats or a car park.

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    Whiley Boy

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Aviva do not own the land, so my guess is it will remain a cleared site for and year or two then it will be sold to a developer. Then 3 storey Apartments will go up @ £450,000 each with parking space. Just look across at Westlegate.

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    turnover

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • I'm pleased it's gone as it was an eyesore, it may have been a monumental building in day gone by but it looked like and industrial building in the end. Not sure about a car park for Aviva as they already have a multi storey car park in the city ad they don't own it so not sure how people have come up with that idea. Flats are the best idea, they will sell and move people into the city.

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    parkeg1

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • use public transport instead of your car ingo wagenknecht stop moaning

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    DAVE

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • It's going to be an Aviva car park apparently.

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    Whiley Boy

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Mother always enjoyed her bingo there, the builing will be missed.

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    Whiley Boy

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Well how unclear can it be? Have you talked to the workers? they tell us that it will be another congestion busting car park, a private develoment for our giant city insurer, apparently. Add to that the new plans for future traffic flows and you can see how snarl ups are created. Be prepared to sit in traffic on Castle hill for some time, daily, should this become a carpark. When will we find the remedy for this motormadness?

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

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