The Gala was originally known as The Gala Ballroom, on St. Stephens Road in Norwich just outside the city walls. It had been a club and bar all through the 1960s and 70s when many well-known bands and cabaret cats had performed there. The Pete Douglas Combo (father of Nigel Digby of Canis Strange) often played there in the early to mid-1970s, and there was always a cabaret act. One night they backed an act that was two midget brothers. The Minitones. Very nice men, and quite a laugh in the changing room. The next time anyone heard of Kenny Baker, he was inside R2D2.
From about 1967, the legendary promoter Howard Platt moved to the Gala, having outgrown the Orford Cellar. He booked many successful bands of the time, with Fleetwood Mac, The Foundations, Status Quo, Amen Corner, The Move, Joe Cocker, the ever present Geno Washington, and many many more all appearing there on Saturday nights. The Saturday night ticket price included 'free' admission to Tuesday disco nights, hosted by Howard, together with John Smythe and David Delf's Music Machine.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s the Gala became very much a punk and new wave venue, playing host to bands as diverse as Crass, The Fall, UK Subs, The Smiths, Theatre Of Hate, A Flock Of Seagulls and Rip, Rig And Panic (whose line-up included Neneh Cherry).
The closure of the gala in the late 1980s was one of the catalysts behind the launch of the Norwich Venue Campaign which eventually led to the opening of the Waterfront.
The Site is now home to Quasar Elite, a Laser tag site.