Hoyts Regent Theatre
80 Maitland Road,
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The Regent Theatre, located in the Newcastle suburb of Islington, opened on 10th January 1930 for W. Herbert of Herbert’s Theatres.
The theatre’s facade was boldly treated in a Classical manner, featuring the complete Roman Tuscan order of architecture. The interior of the auditorium was distinctly charming with a rich tone, suggesting comfort and spaciousness. The seating was laid out to seat 1,534, with 540 in the dress circle. The proscenium was a very refined and stately setting with massive fluted columns of Grecian Ionic architecture.
In 1941 or 1942, Hoyts Theatres obtained a majority interest in the property. But eventually, with the advent of television in Newcastle in the early-1960’s, the Regent Theatre could not survive and closed its doors on Saturday, June 27, 1964. It remained empty for until August 1969, when it was converted into a Builders Hardware Store, which it still operates as today.
The original wide proscenium arch is still there, although the lower section at stage level has been cut out. Baths, toilets, and timber planks now stand splendidly on the stage area. The dress circle is still intact with furniture and toilet pans taking the place of the upholstered seats.
Certainly, this theater’s fate is one of the more depressing examples of adaptive reuse.
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