Regent Cinema

Diamond Avenue and Station Street,
East Kirkby, NG17 7GR

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Regent Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the East Kirkby district of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire on a prominent corner site at Kingsway and Diamond Avenue. The Regent Cinema was built for and operated by independent operators and opened on 6th October 1930 with John Boles in "The Desert Song".

There was an entrance rotunda which was decorated in Columbian Pine, and inside the auditorium seating was provided for 650 in the stalls and 500 in the circle. The auditorium was decorated in a ‘Modern’ French style.

It was taken over by the Newcastle based Essoldo chain and re-named Essoldo from 5th March 1961. The Essoldo closed on 31st July 1965 with Ursula Andress in "She" and Jimmy Savile in "Pop Gear". It was converted into an Essoldo bingo club, using the stalls area only.

It re-opened as the Regent Cinema again on 24th March 1988 with Kevin Costner in "No Way Out", in a 200 seat screen located in the former circle area. The stalls continued as a Silverline Bingo Club, sharing the corner entrance with the cinema. Later, the bingo club closed and that area was converted into Fagins Bar, and the cinema entrance was moved to a former circle exit on Kingway. Fagins Bar appears to have closed around the end of 1992, but the Regent Cinema stayed open for a while and closed in 1993 with Richard Gere in "Somersby".

The building remain shuttered until 2003 when Mr Asif Sahil purchased it for his small independent Cineplex circuit. Roof repairs were carried out, Dolby stereo sound, air conditioning, a new large screen and stadium seating were installed. It re-opened as the Cineplex on 2nd April 2004 with Eddie Murphy in "The Haunted Mansion". The former stalls area remained unused and a take-a-way kebab restaurant opened in the former entrance foyer.

Unfortunately, the Cineplex was not successful and closed around March 2005. The building sat vacant until the former stalls area was taken over by the J.D. Wetherspoon chain of pubs and opened as The Regent on 19th February 2013.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

DavidSimpson on August 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

On 19 February 2013 J D Wetherspoon opened one of their pubs in the former (unrecognisable) stalls area. The company reinstated the roof top sign, adding “THE” to “REGENT” – compare with the archive photograph showing only “REGENT”. Presumably this was partly for advertising reasons, as the kebab shop has remained in the former cinema foyer and its signage takes up the most prominent position. The entrance to the pub is on the right hand side, not far from the entrance used for the Cineplex.

TR6Kid on March 1, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Ladbrokes Theatres ( Bingo Halls ),bought it from Essoldo at some point, they were definitely running it in 1980/81 as I went there on relief. I guess they bought it in the early 70’s, and presumably ran it into the the early 80’s, I am sure it was sold as a going concern at that point, Ladbrokes were getting rid of all the small clubs at that time. I also found a load of paying in books for the bank from the 1940’s, during the war, they were banking £400 plus a week – that’s a lot of bums on seats at a tanner or whatever a go! Also, the Circle seats were / would have been in use, especially in the 60’s, bingo halls were packed to the rafters, and in the pre Gaming Act days some serious fortunes were made.

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