I've always been interested in British cinema and the history of, and indeed the (usually) wonderful art deco architectural design of these, once, wonderful places. A terrible shame such lovely buildings, bursting with life and soul in their heyday, have been subjected to such indiscriminate decimation in recent times..This may be interesting to fans who share an interest in Bill's earlier days, and a little glimpse of 'how things used to be'...just a couple or so pictures and a link to a very short video, maybe only 40 or 50 seconds in length, but nice to see...first time I've seen it (I think), which prompted this post.
"The Regal Cinema was designed by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in-house architect William R. Glen, and opened on 9th December 1935. It has a town centre location on Kirkgate at the corner of Sun Lane facing into, and visible from, the town centre.
Not as large as some later ABC houses the Regal Cinema accommodated 1,594 but had a full stage 26 feet deep behind the 43 feet wide proscenium. The interior was rather plainer than many of Glen’s cinemas with concealed lighting under the balcony and at the rear of the ceiling and pendant fittings casting light upwards towards the front of the cinema.
It was renamed ABC in 1962 and became a triple operation from 11th November 1976 with screen 1 seating 532 in the balcony using the original screen and projection suite and screen 2 (236 seats) and 3 (170 seats) in the rear stalls area.
It was taken over by Cannon Cinemas chain in April 1986, and was renamed Cannon. It closed in 1997 following the Cineplex multi-screen cinema opening in December 1996 and has been empty and for sale since. A covenant restricting its use to film exhibition has been the reason the site has not been redeveloped or alternative uses found for the building."
The above quote is a contribution made by Ian Grundy to the Cinematreasures website.
I don't even know if the Regal is still standing anymore...probably been demolished for a car park, or 'plaza'🙄, or something.
Lovel building in it's heyday...buildings like this just seemed to pull you in!
Here's the link to the video...Please bear in mind it's very short
AND, as a brief aside, a little related history fact about ODEON cinemas.
Odeon cinemas were built by Oscar Deutsch, a British businessman and entrepreneur, who opened his first cinema in 1928 and built an empire of nearly 300 Odeon's, before his untimely death in 1941....and!, ODEON stands for: 'Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation'..
Remember the lady that used to come round with the little tubs of ice cream and wooden spoon, Kia Ora (I've still got my early 1970's badge), chocolate, cigarettes etc?..seems like a million years ago.