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Opened on 5th December 1938 with Ginger Rogers in “Vivacious Lady”, the Regal Cinema occupied an excellent site on Lord Street at the corner of Wellington Street in the resort. William R. Glen the architect was able to design the cinema to maximum capacity on a tight plot of land. At the rear of the cinema Cheshire Street had housing opposite the building.
The cinema survived through the fifties and sixties, presenting performances three times daily. Often showing films in the summer season ahead of national release.
Presentation on screen was to a high standard, from a projection box situated at the rear of the building over the rear of the Circle.
The cinema was equipped for 70mm presentations when new projection equipment was installed at the end of the Sixties.
The ABC (as it was called from 1962) was still a single screen, and its audiences had started to decline. All the signs were there, performances had been reduced to once nightly, matinees on selected days only. In the auditorium the chandelliers above the Circle audience were left off in an economy drive that made the visit to the cinema rather depressing.
The final film “Star Trek III” flickered across the screen on 1st September 1984. Demolition took place later in the summer of 1987, but the close proximety of the housing, meant the walls had to be knocked down with extreme care. A block of retirement flats were built on the site.
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