Businesses at Norwich’s Riverside celebrate imminent return of Hollywood Bowl - after three years

Businesses at Norwich's Riverside celebrate imminent return of Hollywood Bowl - after three years

Businesses are celebrating the return of a flagship venue at a Norwich entertainment complex that has been closed for more than three years.

The Hollywood Bowl at Riverside will reopen on December 8 with 26 fully computerised lanes offering the latest graphics, a modern bar, cafe and an amusements area.

The venue and neighbouring Lava/Ignite nightclub shut in 2007 for structural reasons.

In May last year, the site landlord, X-Leisure launched a �20m lawsuit against contractors claiming a breach of contract, saying the beams beneath the nightclub were flawed.

However, an out-of-court legal settlement resolved the row, and a legal deal was struck to enable both the night-club and bowling alley to be refurbished.

As reported, the Riverside complex, which also includes the Odeon cinema, has been hit hard by the absence of the two venues and missed the money spent by thousands of clubbers and bowlers who used to visit.

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But December 8 marks the launch of The Original Bowling Company's brand new state of the art tenpin bowling centre.

Hollywood Bowl manager Roddy Trimble said that nearly the whole inside of the building was new and the lanes were now synthetic instead of wood, and would last longer.

He said: 'We have moved the reception to the back wall to open up space for customer seating. The caf� is now incorporated into the bar.

'It will employ 40 people including six who worked at the former venue before it closed. At any one time, 208 people can be bowling with about 300 people in the rest of the area. There's also a new feature – a new marketing and conference room and we even have massive size 20 shoes in stock for the bigger bowlers.'

Feedback from other businesses at Riverside had been brilliant, he said.

'We are expecting a big footfall when we open. We have struck up relationships with all the other operators at Riverside. I don't think I have ever been welcomed anywhere as much as I have here. Feedback from locals has also been really positive. It seems people have really missed it.'

The imminent return of the Hollywood Bowl has been welcomed by neighbouring businesses, and also by citizens' and business groups.

Julian Foster, chairman of the Central Norwich Citizens' Forum, said: 'I welcome the immediate reopening of the Hollywood Bowl, which will start to restore Riverside to its original concept with a comprehensive variety of lei-sure venues.'

Meanwhile, Caroline Williams, chief executive of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the re-opening would enhance the area.

She said: 'Businesses in the Riverside area welcome the news concerning the Hollywood Bowl reopening before Christmas as it will enhance this already vibrant area. Norwich continues to buck the trend with shoppers out in force spending money, and the ability to access quality leisure facilities is part of the over-all experience.'

Hollywood Bowl Norwich will incorporate the latest Qubica-AMF SPL Integra GT lanes which provide glow track functionality, which illuminates the lanes and gives them an impressive glow under black lighting.

The centre will also boast interactive video juke boxes, with the latest LCD screens above the lanes and in the bar area.

The bar will also house a giant projector TV, and its large amusements area will also offer all a variety of arcade games, pool tables, dance machines and a dedicated Play to Win area where tickets can be collected to win prizes.

The former Lava/Ignite nightclub, now renamed Project, was also due to reopen before Christmas, but the date has been put back to the end of February next year.