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The Theatre Royal opened as a cine-variety house on 24th August 1914 and by 1926 had become more or less a full time cinema. The theatre was a partial adaptation of the 1850 Market Hotel, and the architect for the theatre was F.G.M. Chancellor.
It was acquired by County Cinemas in 1934 and re-named Royal Theatre, with a seating capacity given as 551. By 1937, it was taken over by Oscar Deutsch’s chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd., it eventually came under the control of the Rank Organisation, who disposed of it in 1971 to the Star Cinemas chain. It closed in 1974 and following the rejection of a plan to demolish the theatre and build a supermarket, it was designated a Grade II Listed building.
It was acquired by a theatre trust and was returned to use in 1977. Since then there have been many improvements made, most notably the extending of the stage and flytower in 1985. In 1989, some films were screened again in the building and it was briefly re-named Cinema Royal. There was a major refurbishment and reworking of the front of house areas in November 2001.
It is now a very pretty theatre seating 400 in the stalls and single balcony. The circle front is extended along the side walls in a series of bow fronted boxes. There is a barrel vaulted and decorated ceiling, and rich plaster embellishments to the balcony front.
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