Regent Theatre

167 Queen Street,
Brisbane, QLD 4000

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brizregent
brizregent on September 12, 2014 at 7:55 am

A new book on the Regent Theatre, Brisbane has just been published. Due out mid-October 2014, it covers everything from the 1927 conception up to the demolition in 2012. More details at:

www.theregentbook.com

or email:

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on July 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm

It pains me to do this, but I’m changing this theater to demolished…

brizregent
brizregent on July 1, 2011 at 6:52 am

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

paulsp
paulsp on September 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I agree with the above comment – the Brisbane REGENT was wrecked when the auditorium was destroyed, the finest in Australia and the equal to the best in the U.S.A. apart from just a few very special places, e.g. Capitol/New York, Fox/San Francisco.
Thankfully the Sydney State and Capitol and Melbourne Regent remain basically intact but Brisbane has never respected its past, hence most of it is now gone.

bartman1
bartman1 on June 16, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Almost but not quite…

Just for the record – other comments on the net are correct. Titanic actually was the final film to stop rolling, due to its longer running time and its late start of 30mins. [Don’t know how that happened:) ] Audiences for Casablanca and Sex and the City actually had exited the building whilst Titanic completed its final voyage at The Regent.

brizregent
brizregent on June 15, 2010 at 6:41 am

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:
View link

See also www.savetheregent.com

brizregent
brizregent on May 4, 2010 at 4:58 am

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.

brizregent
brizregent on July 24, 2009 at 6:42 am

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.

brizregent
brizregent on June 9, 2009 at 6:41 am

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.”

brizregent
brizregent on September 17, 2008 at 6:42 am

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.

http://www.debritz.com/str/node/59

Send an email to those who have a say in this development and voice your concerns directly to them. Time is running out!

http://debritz.com/str/node/1

Save the Regent Group
Sept. 17, 2008.
www.savetheregent.com

jefferywalker
jefferywalker on June 29, 2008 at 10:08 am

Is there any news of what is to happen to the old girl.

brentj
brentj on February 15, 2008 at 10:51 pm

AS reported in the preservation alert on this page…time is running out of The Regent…before it becomes part of an office tower. A story in yesterdays paper included part of the report from the developer…mentioned that heritage parts…may be lost…or cracks may appear in main walls of grand lobby due to nature of demolition/construction work for a new 38 story building beyond the marble staircase.

Any photo’s etc can help for the site below

The regent site is now set up

www.savetheregent.com

VickiBridgstock
VickiBridgstock on January 27, 2008 at 11:29 am

Hi All,

My name is Vicki. I helped run the campaign to save the historic Shingle Inn in Brisbane. We have had some success as the heritage interior will be going into our City Hall and will be preserved for future generations.

Not really surprised that the Regent may be undergoing substantial development. Seems they’ve been winding it down for years!! “Demolition by neglect” is the term often used…as with Belle Vue, Cloudland and Festival Hall. Queensland is famous for it!!

I’m investigating what parts of our much-altered Regent is actually heritage protected (NOT THAT THAT MEANS MUCH IN QLD!!!) I’m personally not opposed to redevelopment of a heritage building if it means saving it from complete demolition, but as long as it’s done properly and within heritage guidelines. Our heritage organisation (B.R.I.S.S.I.) will try to ensure this happens.

On another note…I am currently writing a book about Brisbane’s lost heritage…all the heritage places that we’ve lost in Brisbane.
I noticed that a lot of your comments feature great memories of the Regent and other places. My email address is .au
I would really like to use some of your memories…and pick your brains for some more!! Please contact me if you would like to contribute to the book. OzMarky…I’d love a copy of that zip file…sp2…would also love copies of your photos.

Hope to hear from you all…lets keep these wonderful memories alive!!

VickiB

brentj
brentj on December 22, 2007 at 7:38 am

Nothing would surprise me. Would love to see a theatre operator move in and do something with the current cinemas. Very sadly …over the past couple of years , you’d have to be Columbo to know there was actually movies screening inside. No outside display of attractions above the entrance (used to be the hand placed letters) , likewise inside in the foyer…nothing saying what is on. You would have to go find a green photocopy sheet with session times. Now on several occasions I witnessed….no sheets available….movie goers just walked out..assuming to the Myer Centre. Anyone would think they wanted this place to fail !!

Now while the lobby is heritage protected (please keep in mind this means nothing in Qld…so was David Jones interior…and Shingle Inn…and many others. A hotel operator may be able to make changes.

Also of concern is down downstairs lobby area…which was the original lobby upstairs…with plaster elements moved to the lower level. While the “showcase” cinema pales compared to the original IT DOES contain major elements and features cut down from the original auditorium. This is all that is left. If a hotel goes…what becomes of these last fragments of the Regent ??
Mu understanding , none of these original parts…re-located in 1980 complex would be protected. I would suspect a deal would be done ensuring no other cinema operator could use the complex (same deal as with Albert sale). It always angers and saddens me that Brisbane…apart from The Plaza (antiques) and the Princess at the Gabba….had nothing left at all.

Oz Marky…would love that zip file .au

Brent

brizregent
brizregent on November 12, 2007 at 5:41 am

OzMarky (Mark?)
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?
Mike G.
.gov.au

bartman1
bartman1 on September 2, 2007 at 12:03 pm

OzMarky thanks for your thoughts.

For those of us in Brisbane and those of us who largely grew up with the Regent in its current form, it’s about the best that we have, so let’s not totally lose it. It is far better than the ‘supermarket’ cinemas that are the alternative. There are still many Regent devotees out there.

As for the even sadder Antique store, it now has support columns dotted around inside, one assumes this is to prevent the ceiling collapsing on the antique shoppers.

As for Hoyts…well not in Qld these days…

ilreput
ilreput on August 11, 2007 at 9:51 am

Thank you for that info barth!
I personally don’t care if they build a hotel. The Regent is only a foyer, the theatre was destroyed in 1978, what was built to replace the auditorium deserves to be destroyed, it’s a travesty. I stopped supporting Hoyts after they showed no respect for a landmark. As a hotel at least the foyer will lead to something other than the hideous cinemas it presently does. Basically, if you are interested in heritage, you don’t visit Brisbane, it has no heart or soul. The only major Victorian era building is a casino, kind of says it all. If you want to see majestic theatres go to Melbourne and Adelaide, Brisbane has only one left and it’s been an antiques shop for 30 years..

bartman1
bartman1 on August 8, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Rumours once again abound about the demise of the Regent!!!!!!
Allegedly, the plan is to retain the heritage foyers (at this stage) and demolish the cinema complex in favour of a hotel complex. Interesting, when you consider it adjoins the site of the former Alberts/Metro.

Makes you think about the forward planning of the property owners. First the Hoyts/Greater Union Brisbane ‘merger’ places the Regent in the hands of the operators of the Albert cinemas. Which leisure/hospitality company/family runs both cinemas and hotel properties….
Moral of the story, enjoy the Regent now while it is still there.
Candy bar staff regularly recommend patrons go up the road to the Myer Centre :(

ilreput
ilreput on March 28, 2007 at 6:32 am

I have 44 pictures of the theatre’s interior, including the original auditorium and stalls, in a zip file if anyone is interested. .au

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 14, 2006 at 9:27 pm

OOOoops, I messed up on the 3rd from bottom link:
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 14, 2006 at 9:22 pm

Here are some current views of the Gothic foyer, all that remains internally of the the original magnificent Regent Theatre, Brisbane:
View link
View link
View link
View link
View link
View link
View link

paulnutter
paulnutter on November 19, 2005 at 9:20 am

Mark, I have emailed you regards to the Brisbane Regent. Would like please repond.
Regards Paul

paulnutter
paulnutter on November 19, 2005 at 9:09 am

paulb
if you read this could you please contact me email sunsmart @picknowl.com.au in reference to the Sydney Regent
Regards Paul N
South Aust

mark
mark on February 1, 2005 at 3:38 am

sp2 I would love scans of your photos. If this is at all possible please let me know. I have collected as many pictures of the interior as I can, but most are very poor quality. They are not for a website, just for memories sake, I’m a Queenslander. .au