In 1965, in an attempt to win back some income, bingo replaced films on Friday nights. This was tried by most cinemas in Britain with little success. Falling income and audiences finally forced the Towcester Cinema to close on the 30th June 1973.
There followed a slow decline when, despite still being in the ownership of Lord Hesketh, nobody could agree what to do with the building. Dereliction and vandalism eventually sealed the building's fate. Alan Powers, of the Thirties Society, wrote "The Towcester District Plan of 1981 declared that 'The scale and character of the building is out of keeping with the surrounding area. Complete redevelopment of the site is therefore preferred."
The Towcester Local History Society minutes dated 14th August 1982 record the first correspondence with the council on planning matters. "South Northamptonshire District Council received a planning application for a shop in Allen's Yard requesting demolition of the barns, carriage house and walls on the periphery of the site. The committee sent a letter objecting". This plan seemed to include the demolition of the cinema. Poundstretcher (formerly the Co-op store, formerly Somerfield, formerly Gateway) now (2017) stands on the Allen's Yard site.
In 1984 demolition teams moved in and by the end of the year the Cinema site was flattened. Eventually a version of the 1982 project was re-submitted and in 1999 Richmond Court; the Safeway store; and its car park [now Waitrose] were built.
In hindsight a great opportunity was missed by the District Planners through sheer lack of imagination. From the original plans it can be seen that the Towcester Cinema could have been "tripled" with two screens downstairs and a third crosswise in the Circle. This would have given Towcester a 15 year head start over Northampton in the provision of a "multi" cinema, and formed a much needed focal point for entertainment in the district. It should be remembered that "The Point" at Milton Keynes had only recently been built and "Sixfields" was just an idea.