By Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association President John Ashbridge
Fairlanes Savoy Bowl Radford Road Coventry
The Savoy Cinema was built for, and operated by, the local independent Philpot Circuit and opened on 2nd July 1938. The building was designed in a splendid Art Deco style to the plans of noted Coventry architect T.D. Griffiths and designed by his assistant A. Hendy. The cinema had a modern facade, with large windows above the entrance, which allowed light into the circle foyer.
During one of the early-1941 air raids the cinema was badly damaged when the roof was blown off. It was repaired and was set to reopen on Easter Monday, but the building was bombed again, just two nights later. Further repairs were carried out and it eventually re-opened in August 1941.
The cinema was closed in June 1962 and it was initially planned to convert the building into a tenpin bowling centre. However, these plans were amended, and the auditorium was demolished to build a purpose-built bowling centre at the rear of former cinema entrance. The foyer was retained in recreational use and as an entrance to the bowl. It is believed the centre, first operated by Fairlanes, opened around March/April 1963 and was equipped with 24 Brunswick lanes and machines. It is believed that by 26th June 1964 Angallan Enterprises owned the centre. The bowling centre was relatively short lived although the actual closing date is unknown. The building later became a Bingo Club and in 2010 was operated by Gala Bingo.