6 Fore Street,
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Merlin Cinemas (Official)
Operated by: Merlin Cinemas
Previously operated by: Jackson Withers Circuits
Architects: William Henry Watkins
Styles: Art Deco
This cinema is situated at the bottom of the main street in Redruth, Cornwall. When I was a child it was a single screen, but also used for live theatre. There is still a stage which is used for theatre now.
Opened as the Regal Cinema on 2nd December 1935, seating was provided for 982 on a stadium plan, with a stepped section at the rear, rather than a conventional circle. The proscenium is 35 feet wide and there is a stage. It was designed by an Australian named Smith, who was working for the Bristol based William Henry Watkins. Externally, it has a slender fin-tower on the left and the name ‘Regal Cinema’ on the facade, in stone, in an Art Deco style script. There was a coloured lit fountain in the foyer and it had a cafe for the convenience it its patrons. It was independently operated, later becoming part of Cornwall Cinemas chain, then Jackson Withers and briefly The Rank Organisation, before going independent again.
The cafe was converted into a second screen in 1983 which seated 80. The main auditorium was tripled in 1986 and now seats 600 (still retaining the provision for live shows),171 and 121.
In 2007, the exterior was renovated back to its original splendour and additional screens added in adjacent properties. One being a luxury screen with leather seating and a licenced bar.
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