Thursday, 1 March 2012

Gala Bingo Hall - demolition imminent.

Demolition is expected to start shortly on the Gala Bingo Hall in Portland Road, Hove. It opened as the Granada cinema in 1933, and, as with other cinemas at that time, was also equipped with a stage, dressing rooms and cinema organ for live performances. It closed as a cinema in 1974 but shortly afterwards was opened by Ladbokes as a Bingo Hall. The stalls were levelled off and the circle concealed above a suspended ceiling. It remained as a bingo hall under various owners until 2003 when proposals were put forward for redevelopment of the site as flats. It has remained closed in a deteriorating state ever since. Permisson for demolition and redevelopment was granted in November last year.

The plans submitted by Conran & Partners, provide a new GP surgery at part ground floor level and part first floor level, a separate commercial unit at ground floor level, 31 flats above in part 2, 3, 4 and 5 storey building to include 14 affordable units. Also provided is surface parking for 18 cars, cycle parking and landscaping.

Further history see:- Granada Hove History


  1. My school's on the left:Portland Road Junior. Would walk home past the allotments to Boundary Road, Portslade.

    And, of course, Saturday Morning Picture Club at the old Granada.

    Architecturally I think the old cinema has more to recommend it than the proposed replacement.

  2. Criminal -- demolishing a unique and lovely building to be replaced with generic modern housing

  3. Brighton has, of course, lost far more wonderful cinema buildings; the Regent, Astoria, Essoldo etc.
    As to the proposed replacement it seems to be a high quality, modern but sympathetic design, and housing is what is needed.

  4. Thank you for the interesting blog and comments. It's very sad to lose another iconic 30s building but as it stands it serves no purpose and does nothing to enhance the ever improving image of Portland Road. Happily most of the new-builds are now fitting in comfortably with their surroundings. Sometimes we just have to move with the times!

  5. Disgusting that permission has been to demolish - surely we need to retain some of our interesting architecture? Obviously the building has been allowed to get into the state it's in deliberately - to become such a neglected eyesore to many - so that the council has no alternative but to bow to the wishes of the owners/developers. Criminal!

  6. The old cinema is now dust....except for its iconic art deco entrance. A very depressing sight....but for a month or two, the houses in Marmion Road, backing onto the site will have extra sunlight....a positive thought to ease the despair.

  7. Why only 18 parking spaces? In other European countries a 'green' development is one that has to provide parking for all new dwellings. And what about additional parking for drs surgery?

    1. I believe the Council has a policy of discouraging car ownership in developments that will be well served by public transport.

  8. I love Brighton and Hove architecture. It fires my soul more than anything else the city has to offer. Like the Astoria, this old cinema was of a lower quality build compared to others of it's generation and any interest was purely nostalgic. The building no longer served a practical purpose. From a architectural/engineering point of view they were merely a fa├žade of grandeur and fashion of the day, like a prop at Disney. Better late than never it's gone I say, it will now help serve the communities needs.

  9. I understand that the Granada/Gala Bingo Hall was a grand arch-deco site but it simply had its day in the end. Ever since it closed in 2003, it has served no purpose and has just stood there decaying. The same went for the old Monkey Puzzle building in Salisbury Road (does anyone remember that?), the King Alfred flumes and the old restuarants in Palmeira Square. They either needed to be put into some use or simply demolished. Brighton and Hove needs to move with the times as we have had too many derelict places in the past decade becoming eyesores and the council not acting. Time to move Brighton into the 2010s I'm afriad. Nice old building but in the end an eyesore that was sitting empty for far too long.

  10. I drove by in the number 2 bus today (11.11.12) and where once had stood that majestic, deco building there was nothing. Shocked and very sad. The new building says nothing.


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