Regal Cinema

300 Cowley Road,
Oxford, OX4 1US

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Regal Cinema

A large detached building located at the junction between Cowley Road and Magdalen Road in the Cowley district of Oxford.

The building was constructed by Union Cinemas Ltd. and opened as as the Regal Cinema on 19th April 1937. Designed by noted architect Robert Cromie, it is regarded to be one of the top two examples surviving of his work. He was one of the first architects to specialise in cinema design and the building on the Cowley Road, despite its seemingly stark exterior, has a well planned and designed interior, still extant despite later alterations. At the opening ceremony deputy mayor Mary Townsend said it was a sign of the growing prosperity of Oxford that the cinema had been built.

The Regal Cinema was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/5Rank organ, with illuminated console and a melotone unit. The organ was opened by Sydney Torch.

In October 1937, Union Cinemas were taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) and the Regal Cinema came under their control. The organ was removed to the Ritz Cinema, Keighley in February 1938.

The Regal Cinema closed in July 1970 and was converted into a bingo hall. It remained in this use until its closure in 2004, when Gala Bingo moved to a new purpose built bingo hall at the Ozone Leisure Park.

After standing empty for a few years, the building was converted into a live venue/nightclub which opened on 3rd May 2008. It was taken over by a church in October 2011, and the nightclub is due to closed on New Years Eve, 2011.

The Regal Cinema was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage on 3rd August 2004.

Contributed by Mart Best

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Ian on April 12, 2008 at 8:06 am

Photos of the Regal as a bingo hall in 1986 here:–

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woody on February 11, 2009 at 6:14 am

photos taken april 2007 after closure of the bingo operation and while it was used for local concerts but in a bit of a mess
lobby ceiling
auditorium rear looking up at the circle
organ grills and side wall
side wall detail

rasLXR on November 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm

The Regal nightclub and music venue in Oxford has been taken over by an evangelical church.

The new owners have a 10-year lease on the building on the Cowley Road with the option to buy the leasehold, which they plan to do as soon as possible.

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