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On Wednesday June 29 2011 a public notice appeared in the Brisbane “Courier Mail” newspaper indicating that work on the demolition of the Regent Theatre cinema box (containing the currently closed 4 cinemas) is about to commence. A 37-story office tower will replace the theatre with the Regent’s entrance lobby and Gothic foyer forming its entrance off Queen Street.
At loss is the unique Showcase Cinema and its inner bar and vestibule with its 1929 reused plaster décor. Attempts to have these areas heritage listed failed and it appears that it will be torn down with only a fragment or two saved for an “interpretive display” in the new development. Also being demolished is the magnificent red brick 1929 Regent Façade on Elizabeth Street – part of the streetscape for over 82 years.
This is a sad day for the many thousands of Regent Theatre supporters who rallied behind the Save the Regent campaign group since 2008 to try to keep the cinema complex operating or even renewed as a live theatre. For more on the tragic loss go to www.savetheregent.com
A SAD DAY…
Yesterday 14 June 2010 the Brisbane Regent closed for good as a cinema complex. Final film in the beautiful Showcase Cinema was Casablanca. Full story and pics here:
See also www.savetheregent.com
The above link to the history of the Regent has been updated.
It now includes information on the 1980-2008 Regent Cineplex.
Go to: View link
Visit also: www.savetheregent.com for the latest developments on the Regent’s future.
Please note that the Regent Theatre short history web page has moved to: View link
Comments and additions are welcome.
Remember to keep up to date with the Regent’s development plans. This will be the last BIFF(http://www.stgeorgebiff.com.au/about.aspx) in the Showcase Cinema at the Regent, as it is to be demolished under development plans now passed by city council. See: www.savetheregent.com for more details.
A new bid has been launched to save Brisbane’s historic Regent Theatre from demolition.
A member of the Save the Regent Group has lodged an application to have the theatre’s Showcase cinema and bar area Heritage listed. The application was advertised for public submissions in the Courier-Mail of June 5, 2009.
Currently only the foyer of the building is protected, and the development application recently approved by the Brisbane City Council would see everything beyond the building’s grand marble stairase demolished to make way for a 40-storey office tower.
Backed by two petitions to Parliament, attracting thousands of signatures, and Facebook groups with combined membership totalling nearly 5000 people, the STR Group has been fighting to protect as much of the orignal 1929 Regent as possible since the development plans were made public last February.
The Heritage-listing application, lodged by STR committee member Brent James, argues that the Showcase Cinema includes plasterwork and other heritage features from the original 1929 Regent, and that the bar area is the original theatre mezzanine relocated downstairs.
“While others have argued that nothing other than the foyer is worth saving, we have always said that the essence of the Regent – Brisbane’s last remaining Hollywood picture palace – is more than that,” STR spokesman Brett Debritz said.
“It is true that the original auditorium had a somewhat unsympathetic makeover about 30 years ago, but much of the 1929 theatre’s fixtures and fittings was relocated into the showcase cinema and it is of immense heritage value to the people of Brisbane. We contend that the mezzanine and the Showcase Cinema should be protected by law, and urge people to support this application.
“We encourage people who care about our city’s heritage to respond to the advertisement in today’s paper and lodge their support for the listing of the Showcase and the old mezzanine.
“Please, follow the instructions in the advertisement to have your say before it’s too late. In the coming days, there will be more details on our website, www.savetheregent.com, and on the Save the Regent Facebook Group.”
You are correct with your comments on the murals in the Melbourne Regent, but these are not the ones I refer to.
They are on the vaulted ceilings between the clustered piers and tracery clad balconies of the foyer. Almost identical ones are in the Brisbane Regent.
For those who remember the Regent pre-1978 or wish to learn about its history, a web site has been created. Go to
Contributions to its history on this web site are welcomed.
BRISBANE REGENT NEEDS YOUR HELP! The Brisbane Regent Theatre, a cultural and heritage icon in Brisbane, Australia is in danger of being altered into a corporate enclave with little public access, after 80 yeas of continuous service as a picture palace and cinema complex.
The magnificent gothic foyer and grand entrance lobby from 1929 remain intact and are heritage protected. The later rebuilt cinemas behind are not, even though they contain heritage-style original plaster decorations and artefacts.
On September 10, 2008 the Queensland government announced that the Regent cinema complex will be redeveloped into one 300-seat multiuse cinema and two tiny 60 seat cinemas, a loss of around 1000 seats from what is currently there. These will open only on weekends and public holidays.
Several television and cinema industry offices will also be established there, but it would be assumed they would go into already built offices in the Regent Building above the grand entrance lobby.
The Brisbane International Film Festival will now have to find a large enough venue elsewhere for their festival gala events after many years at the Regent.
Almost no new development plans or technical details have been released to date, leaving a concerned public in the dark as to the finer details etc. The original design called for total demolition of the cinemas, to be replaced by a car park and office tower rear entrance. This has been altered due to recent public outcry… but to what exactly?
Please visit the Save the Regent website (link below) for the very latest on this important development.
Send an email to those who have a say in this development and voice your concerns directly to them. Time is running out!
Save the Regent Group
Sept. 17, 2008.
What is “Craig’s List” ? Is there a link?
Thanks also to Ken… I have already discovered the link you provided.
Many thanks folks for all your comments and advice.
I have found a theatre that is very similar in concept to what “may” happen in my home town of Brisbane, Australia. It is the Henry Miller’s Theatre in New York. See the latest news on www.savetheregent.com for this and our local campaign. Oh, and keep the suggestions coming in! You may also like to comment on the STR web site?
I tried to send you an email but it bounced!
Can you please send me the zip file with the 44 photos of the interior of the Regent thanks?