The Tower Restaurant and the Grotto Castle Aquazoo

Photograph of the Tower nearing completion

By John Layton

The Tower was originally designed as a viewing platform so that people could get good views of the seafront, and also had a restaurant at its top, offering dining with a spectacular view.

It still stands as a landmark on the seafront, and the building beneath it is now the Atlantis Complex.

The buiding in front of the Tower was originally Great Yarmouth lifeboat station until 1919. It was used for lots of different things until becoming the Grotto Castle Aquazoo, which held many tanks of exotic fish, which were much deeper than appeared from the walkway, and the fish appeared misshapen because of the optical illusion.

The Grotto Castle has now given way to the 'Mission' bar.

Photo:Photograph of the Tower nearing completion

Photograph of the Tower nearing completion

This page was added by John Layton on 05/03/2007.
Comments about this page

I went up the tower when it opened. It had fine views of the Marina and the open air swimming pool. I remember the Aquazoo and then when it became the horror waxworks. It had a moving walkway which could be viewed from the street and as girls walked over it, air blew upwards, blowing their skirts in the air!!!!!!! Later it became the ghostbuster building, still with the walkway but minus the air!!

By Nigel Hubbard
On 30/09/2008

Does anyone know off or have photos of the ghostbusters building when it was there?  I remember going in there ages ago but wondered if anyone can send me photos of the building as the ghostbusters building.. cheers..

By tony
On 28/07/2010

Whilst working on the Buses , I also worked most evenings when off at the Tower Ballroom 1968/1970, as door security , there was 3 off duty policemen also doing the same job unfortunately these off duty officers had to pack in for some time in 1969. I was on my own for a while .The ballroom could hold well in excess of 1000 persons and during the summer holidays this often happened , the manager at the time was David Woods a very debonair showman ,always dressed smartly in his dress suit and red cummerband , they were happy days we saw the occasional fight and these were duly dealt with ,the resident band at that time was Trevor Copeman ,during the summer months the tower was opened every night catering for different tastes , the one night when trouble occasionally occured was Thursday this was ballroom dance night this was because a lot of people didn't read the posters correctly and started to misbehave when no disco or act appeared . Whilst at the Tower David's stepson would often come in spending a lot of time in the milk bar he was at acting school I believe as David was beaming one evening because the lad had a part in the film Oliver starring Mark Lester,this young man went on to appear in several more films before ending up in Eastenders , his name was Michael Cashman now into politics I believe . There was a happy crew at the Tower from Sid in the paydesk , Vera his wife collecting the tickets on the door , Geoff head barman ,Don and Shirley and many more on the bars , I enjoyed my time there met many lovely people ,local and holidaymakers and many famous groups of that era ,I sadly left in August 1970 after a run in with the new management crew who were going to take over later in the Year , yep I had a picture of Eric Morley on my dartboard and used to throw anything sharp at it. It was their policy that after leaving you were effectively banned from the premises for 6 months , however I went back a couple of times for the Police Balls as they employed there own team, sadly a lot of those I worked with have now passed away , but I still see one or two every so often, oh happy days

By Keith Banner
On 15/10/2010

Would like to contact Keith Banner reference memories of the Tower Ballroom. most urgent please email ASAP. Thank you

By neville albone
On 05/08/2011

Can anyone tell me the name of the cafe to the right as you entered the tower from the promenade around 1967-68 I am trying to trace my father who worked there at this time,thankyou.

By michelle skeet
On 21/10/2011

Hi, does anyone recall when the Aquazoo was open? (i.e. when did it open and then close?)

By David Lomas
On 23/11/2018

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