Regal Theatre

Indira Chowk, Connaught Place,
New Delhi 110001

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The Regal Theatre was the first cinema to be constructed in New Delhi in the newly developing Connaught Place area. It opened in 1932 and the architect was Walter Sykes George.

The name of the theatre is spelt out in ‘cut out’ letters on the top of the building and there is a restaurant located on the first floor which has windows extending the width of the building. Seating in the auditorium is located in stalls and a tiny balcony, which is supported by a series of pillars. The space between each pillar contains a private box (seven in total).

Intitially the Regal Theatre was not a great success, but as the area developed it became a major cinema and from 1938 screened English language films only. It was here that the Indian premier of “Gone With the Wind” was held in December 1940. The Regal Theatre also presented stage shows by visiting British repertory companies and Noel Coward performed here while in the city.

In 1954 it became the first cinema in India to screen CinemaScope when “The Robe” was premiered. In recent years the Regal Theatre has fallen on hard times and has a rather seedy, ill-kept appearance as it screens semi-porn films to the local working class population. But slowly the Connaught Place area is being revitalised and there could still be hope of a revival in fortune for the Regal Theatre.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 21, 2006 at 7:26 am

A photograph of the Regal Theatre taking in 2005:
http://flickr.com/photos/byronic501/75797411/

Gooper
Gooper on June 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm

I have seen several pictures at the Regal, and it certainly deserves restoration. It is in the original ‘New Delhi Style’, and is therefore of high historic value. There are private boxes for elite customers. In 1982 I met the manager, who had worked there since the Raj (British) era.

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