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The_Raw

UK Streatham Mega Bowl - (former Gaumont Palace cinema) - London - Feb 2014

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This was a great fun place to explore, due to the nature of the place it's easy to turn into a big kid once inside. I visited at night with a couple of 28DL members juicerail and sentinel, we had a proper good giggle throughout and I promptly went back for some daytime shots on the roof the following day.

There are two floors of bowling alleys to explore complete with stray bowling balls all over the place, unfortunately there's no skittles to aim at but it's easy enough to pretend. One of the bowling levels is covered in trash from illegal raves and squatters in years gone by but the other one is fairly clean in comparison, both have large bar areas and various adjoining rooms with all sorts of bowling paraphernalia to be found. Upstairs there is a maze-like laser quest level with fluorescent gun toting robots painted all over the walls and from here you can make your way up onto the roof. The roof is about as high as anywhere in Streatham so there's a decent enough view from up there and there's even a higher section at the back of the complex if you can be bothered although the view is less interesting from up there. The loft is accessible from one of the stairwells and was one of the highlights for me. You can walk above pretty much every inch of the old cinema's ceiling via a network of wooden walkways once used for maintenance. It's not the cleanest of places as the pigeons have been in here for a while but it's worth a good look in my opinion.

History (ripped from juicerail's report): Streatham MegaBowl was formerly the Gaumont Palace cinema and opened in March 1932. Gaumont was a chain of cinemas which never really made it and was bought by Odeon. In July 1944 it was damaged by a German V1 rocket. In 1961 it closed as a cinema and the interior was reconstructed into bowling alleys over two levels, opening as the largest in Europe in January 1962. As a cinema it was not missed. There were others close by and the interior was described as having acoustic problems and echoes. A Lazer Quest was added at an upper level in later years before the whole place closed in early 2008. Since then there have been talks of redevelopment, but little has been confirmed.

Here are my shots:

Front of Building

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Bowling Lanes

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Credit goes to juicerail for taking this action shot

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One of the Bar areas

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Bowling shoe graveyard

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Application forms

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Employee Record, £120 for a week's work....

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The Safe

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Daily Express from 1969

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Ghostly Doors

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The Laser Quest level

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Laser Gun holsters

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What is 'unauthorised personnel'?

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The Hidden Room

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The Loft

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The Rooftop, both lower and upper levels

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Credit to Sentinel for taking this one in some pretty dreary weather conditions!

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You're welcome!

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Thanks for looking

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The Mega Bowl looks like it taken quite a pounding since its closure but looks a fun run around if in the area.

A nice building and let hope they get it back into some form of use in the future.

Cool share RAW :thumb

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This one is just down the road for me. When I used to live in Brixton I came up past this quite a bit on my way through Streatham, always wondered what it looked like inside as it was always sealed up tight. Thanks for the share my good man, now I know!

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