When businessman and former manager of Cinema City, Jack Thompson, took over the 1930s Art Deco building at the junction of Dereham Road and Grapes Hill, to open the Bowling House, he had no idea what he would find. “After we took over the building we discovered upstairs, all boarded up, there was a near complete balcony of the former Regal Cinema complete with 200 stunning original Art Deco cast iron cinema seats,” said Mr Thompson.
“There is no lighting up there and the dust across the seats is thick with years passed. It is quite ghostly and really makes you think of all the city people who would have sat in those seats to watch classic films back in the 40s and 50s. I image the back row might have started a few Norwich marriages too!”
While the old cinema is not accessible to the public due to health and safety concerns, Mr Thompson decided to bring a slice of the past into the present and now several of the original faded green velvet upholstered seats provide comfortable respite from bowling at the end of the lanes.