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Take a look inside the new bar at Bowling House in Norwich

Sam Leonard (left)  marketing manager and Jack Thompson (right) General manager, in the new upstairs are of the Bowling House. Pic: Ella Wilkinson

Sam Leonard (left) marketing manager and Jack Thompson (right) General manager, in the new upstairs are of the Bowling House. Pic: Ella Wilkinson

Archant

A former cinema turned bowling alley has opened an upstairs bar with plans to host live music and comedy events.

Bowling House, in the former home of the Regal Cinema, opened its doors in Dereham Road in March 2018 with five lanes and a selection of food, beer, wine and cocktails on offer.

As part of plans to diversify the building they opened a karaoke booth in October, with 30,000 songs to choose from, run regular party bingo nights and have now opened up the first floor as a bar with a stage.

The new bar is part of plans to offer a “whole evening’s worth of entertainment” and make the most of the historic building.

Sam Leonard, marketing manager, said: “It is a really great room and has these beautiful art deco windows and feels quite glam.

Bowling House, Dereham Road, Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYBowling House, Dereham Road, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“We realised we needed to do something with it and also if we have functions downstairs at the moment it takes up the bowling lanes and clashes with other things and now we can do our bingo nights and other events up here.

“With the upstairs bar open it is going to be a really lively destination building and we are also going to run cocktail masterclasses.

“There is a lot to do when you get here and we want people to have a whole evening’s worth of entertainment.”

READ MORE: American diner set to replace Artorio’s at Norwich Riverside

The building began life as the Regal Cinema in 1938 and closed in 1968 when it became a bingo hall.

Sam Leonard (left)  marketing manager and Jack Thompson (right) General manager, in the new upstairs are of the Bowling House. Pic: Ella WilkinsonSam Leonard (left) marketing manager and Jack Thompson (right) General manager, in the new upstairs are of the Bowling House. Pic: Ella Wilkinson

It then became a Wetherspoons, a nightclub, a carpet showroom and then a Chinese buffet before opening as Bowling House.

Jack Thompson, general manager, said: “Now we’ve got our talons into it to give it another use.

“We want to diversify our offer and once we started the karaoke it got us thinking about other things we could do in this building and we are hoping to get more live performances up here including comedy, film and acoustic music.”

Despite there being a number of other bowling alleys in the city, Mr Thompson believes The Bowling House stands out as it “a bar and restaurant with bowling rather than a bowling alley that provides some food.”

Seating in the new upstairs area at the Bowling House. Pic: Ella WilkinsonSeating in the new upstairs area at the Bowling House. Pic: Ella Wilkinson

The bar in the new upstairs area at the Bowling House. Pic: Ella WilkinsonThe bar in the new upstairs area at the Bowling House. Pic: Ella Wilkinson

Seating in the new upstairs area at the Bowling House. Pic: Ella WilkinsonSeating in the new upstairs area at the Bowling House. Pic: Ella Wilkinson

Bowling House, Dereham Road, Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYBowling House, Dereham Road, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

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