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Historic Gaumont Cinema turned bingo club to be brought back to life in Wednesbury

By Richard Guttridge | Wednesbury | Sandwell entertainment | Published:

An historic former cinema which has been derelict for years will be brought back to life as part of a £2 million investment.

Films will be shown from the old Gaumont Cinema in Wednesbury for the first time in 40 years, as exciting plans to bring the building back to its former glory were revealed.

A major refurbishment will create a 900-seater five-screen venue, and bring 30 new jobs.

What the venue looked like shortly after it closed as a bingo club

Independent chain Picturedrome Cinemas has unveiled the ambitious plans to rescue the relic, which had appeared to have been consigned to history.

Work on The Gaumont could start as early as next month and the venue is expected to re-open next summer.

The company said the building would keep its art decor features and that is appearance both inside and out will be retained 'as much as possible'.

The former cinema was most recently used as a bingo hall.

A plan of the Gaumont

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Adam Cunard, managing director of Picturedrome Cinemas, said: “We are delighted to be coming to the historic town of Wednesbury.

“Picturedrome Cinemas is known for its quality of service and comfort as well as its low prices.

The Gaumont will be no exception, with £2.50 admission for everyone on weekdays and £3.50 at weekends.

“This provides excellent value and makes a trip to the cinema extremely affordable - something we are sure residents of the area will appreciate.”

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Wednesbury councillor Peter Hughes said the regeneration of the venue would be a huge boost for the town.

He said: "People in the town have been wanting something to be done with this site for a long time.

"I don't think for one minute anyone believed it could be back as a cinema. There had been previous discussions about knocking it down completely.

"This is going to be massive for the town. It is going to bring jobs and completely change the look of the place."

The cinema will feature a bar and stock popcorn, hot dogs and nachos.

The Gaumont opened in Walsall Street in1938 and boasted a single screen with almost1,600 seats and immediately became popular.

It became an Odeon in 1964 and its success continued.

A brief spell as The Silver in the 1970s ended when the cinema was bought by Ladbrokes and opened as a bingo and social club.

The business was later taken on by Walkers before closing in 2010. Three years ago there was a fire at the venue which caused damage inside.

The fire at the former cinema in 2014 which was more recently known as Walkers Bingo Club
Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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