5 High Road,
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Built for and opened by Associated British Cinemas Ltd.(ABC), the Regal Cinema was a splendid example of an Art Deco style cinema building from their in-house architect William Riddle Glen. The Regal Cinema opened on 14th November 1938 with Ginger Rogers in "Vivacious Lady" and Shirley Ross in "Prison Farm".
There was a double staircase in the foyer which led to the circle foyer, typical of a Glen design. In the auditorium seating was provided for 1,232 in the stalls and 730 in the circle. The side walls of the circle had backlit niches in the sidewalls which contained Art Deco style figurines.
From 16th October 1960 the Regal Cinema was re-named ABC. In early 1977 it was closed for conversion into a triple screen cinema which re-opened on 7th April 1977. Seating was now provided for 630 in the former circle with two smaller screens seating 432 and 231 in the former stalls area.
It was later re-named Cannon Cinema when the Cannon Group took over ABC, but was later bought back by ABC and re-gained that name until finally closing in December 2000. It had been given a Grade II Listed building status, but there was concern that this listing only covered the front section of the building and not the auditorium.
Squatters moved in and caused several fires and there were illegal ‘rave’ parties in the empty building. It was purchased by a property development company for re-developement and the auditorium was demolished in September 2004. New apartments were built on the site, with the Grade II Listed original cinema facade and foyer retained as an entrance.
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