Apollo 4 Cinema

Portland Place,
Leamington Spa, CU32 5EP

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Regal Cinema Leamington Spa

The Regal Cinema opened on 14th September 1931 with Owen Nares in "The Middle Watch". Designed by architect Horace G. Bradley of Birmingham, externally it was given an Art Deco style. There were two entrances, one on Dormer Place and another for the rear seats on Portland place. The original seating capacity was for 1,305 on a stadium plan, with a raised stepped section at the rear, rather than an overhanging balcony. The proscenium was 45 feet wide and on each side of its opening were two back-lit, coloured glass, surreal style dragons, adding to the Oriental style of the auditorium. The Regal Cinema was equipped with a Barbieri 3Manual/6Rank organ which was opened by Frederick Jukes. It is thought that this was the only British cinema installation of this Italian made instrument. The organ was removed in 1955 when CinemaScope was installed. An additional facility was a cafe, located in the foyer. In November 1936, the Regal Cinema was taken over by the Stratford Picture House Co. Ltd. they were part of the Clifton Cinemas chain.

The Regal Cinema was equipped for 70mm presentations in December 1969, re-opening with Ron Moody in "Oliver". It was at this time that the main entrance on Dormer Place was removed and an office building erected in its place, a new entrance was built on Augusta Place and the former rear seating entrance on Portland Place was bricked up and subsequently demolished.

In January 1993, Apollo Leisure Ltd. purchased the Regal Cinema and they submitted plans to to create a new screen out of the 1969-built office space. This opened on 19th April 1996 with 144 seats. The original main auditorium was tripled in July 1996, with two screens converted from the sides of the raised stepped area and the other using the former front stalls and these three screens were served from the original projection box. In 2000, two additional screens were built by expanding out into the car park. Seating capacities in the 6-screens are now: 300, 200, 147, 106, 106 and 109.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on October 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm

The Theatre along with all the other Theatres in Leamington. was owned by. “The Stratford Picture House Co.Ltd., (Founded by Bosco ) I have a number of pictures in my files of The Regal before the 70mm was installed in the 60’s I will load them as soon as I find wher she had put them…..

Bob Herriott
Bob Herriott on April 3, 2012 at 10:20 am

There is a beautiful model, part of the Peter Lee collection on show in the narrow gauge room of the Enigma cinema in Bletchley Park. It shows both original style as well as present Apollo.Well worth a visit.

klingsor74
klingsor74 on August 3, 2012 at 12:27 am

Hello, somebody knows where is “Barbieri 3Manual/6Rank organ” that equipped The Regal Cinema? Thank you! Giorgio Italy

apollo
apollo on August 26, 2012 at 1:07 am

Hi Giorgio. The organ from Leamington must have been broken up at some point, as the pipework is for sale on ebay;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FIVE-CINEMA-ORGAN-RANKS-OF-PIPES-/330783653260?pt=UK_MusicalInstr_Keyboard_RL&hash=item4d043dfd8c

Regards

Steve.

madorganplayer
madorganplayer on September 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm

The basis of the organ is i believe in a church in the midlands with the console reduced to two manuals and church pipework substituted for the the original.

klingsor74
klingsor74 on September 3, 2012 at 2:42 am

Hello madorganplayer, have you got a person to contact for more information? Thank you! Giorgio Italy

klingsor74
klingsor74 on June 29, 2013 at 4:42 am

Hello, I would like to retrieve a piece/part of this Barbieri cinema organ, do anyone of you know of someone who may have (also a part to throw)? Thank you!

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on August 19, 2014 at 8:19 am

I have now loaded the picture of the Stage area before the 70mm conversion..

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