Regent Theatre

41 E. Third Street,
Dunkirk, NY 14048

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Showing 1 - 25 of 76 comments

Gsmagacz
Gsmagacz on March 18, 2017 at 12:38 am

The Regent theater, which had been used for storage, was recently cleaned out and sent to auction. March 14th I attended the RCS auction in Dunkirk on Lake Shore drive and purchased the Simplex theater speakers as well as the Kni-Tron rectifiers used to spark the ark lamps in the projectors. There were two cast iron projector bases with reel case, several bell shaped wall lamps and a few other items that also sold. Everything went cheap. I just resold the 1940’s era speaker cabinets to a collector in South Korea. I personally visited the theater many times all through my youth as well as the Capitol, Van Buran and Enterprise drive in’s, Cine 1 & 2 and the Jamestown cinema which is also gone. Saw many great movies in these places. Sad they’re all gone now.

I witnessed urban renewal which destroyed the tax base causing the remaining buildings to see their taxes sky rocket. High taxes are a business killer. Urban renewal also forced the carpenters unions of Jamestown and Dunkirk to combine in order to survive. I remember Ludlums toy store where my mother bought me my first Lego and then across the street to Kresge’s for ice cream and to pop the balloon for the discount. I happened to buy at auction a few years ago 8mm movies and Kodachrome slides of Dunkirk, the air show, the train wreck, parade, ice skating, etc. I remember all the mom and pop grocery stores and the good times at the point. Not much left of Dunkirk these days.

psomerf
psomerf on February 9, 2014 at 8:26 pm

I have heard rumors of a new (how long ago it happened to justify being called “new”, I don’t know) owner, with at least some interest in showing movies again. But that is third hand information, so I can’t vouch for its veracity.

psomerf
psomerf on February 9, 2013 at 4:17 am

Patsy: I may have posted on facebook. The church no longer owns the building, it is owned by the owner of Kettle & Keg. As far as it becoming a cinema again, I’m doubtful that that will ever happen. Last I heard Payne was seeking to take the slope out of the floor.

When I ate at K & K, Payne was usually there for the lunch rush, then left by 2 or 3. But that has been at least 2 years since I ate there that early.

Patsy
Patsy on September 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm

The building looks to be in sound condition and would make a great cinema again for the area as the cinema near the I-90 interchange shouldn’t be the only choice! Would love to know who, presently, owns this building!

Patsy
Patsy on September 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Also recall the nearby Catholic Church owns the former Regent Theatre building and uses it for storage. I think the seats were removed many years ago though its closing in 1992 wasn’t that long ago.

Patsy
Patsy on September 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm

psomerf: Did you recently most on FB about this clock? Would love to see it so must head to the museum on Washington Avenue.

psomerf
psomerf on July 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I believe I have found the clock from the Regent. Or something similar. It is in the Dunkirk Historical Museum, Washington Ave, on the main floor.

psomerf
psomerf on May 13, 2011 at 5:15 am

The last I heard it is owned by the guy who own Kettle & Keg and Walleye Willies, both Lake Shore Drive, East in Dunkirk. I saw someone working on the place last summer with a dumpster out front for a day.

Paul

mcorsoro
mcorsoro on May 2, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Does anyone know who owns the Regent now? or if there are any plans for it?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 21, 2010 at 12:34 am

June 8 1951 has “HALF ANGEL” playing.Evening admission is 55 cents for Adults; Kids 16 cents always.

psomerf
psomerf on September 16, 2008 at 9:49 am

In my defence, I never worked there, I just saw movies there. And I was living in Ithaca, and seeing movies at the State Theatre there, when the Regent (and the Cine) closed.

There is a new book on Dunkirk (written by a teacher I used to have), and they have a picture of the old Drohen (Dronen?) Theater and ever so briefly mention the theaters.

Patsy
Patsy on November 1, 2007 at 8:32 pm

Paul: Sorry to read that you “have no idea what happened to the clock”. If you ever hear, let me know. Thanks!

psomerf
psomerf on November 1, 2007 at 8:29 pm

Nope. I have no idea what happened to the clock. Didn’t one of the guys who used to work there say something about it a while back? I was wotking in Ithaca when the Regent closed down, lamenting the loss of the Strand, a theater I never was able to see the inside of. Which, as of 2 weeks ago, I personally verified, was still a parking lot. (I like the news stand in the neighborhood. I also liked the bookstore around the corner, but I guess I was keeping them in business, as they are now gone, too. I left Ithaca 10 years ago.)

Right now Payne is busy modifying Walleye Willies, but I don’t know how long that wil take.

Patsy
Patsy on October 27, 2007 at 2:19 am

Paul: Can you tell me anymore about the theatre clock that is STILL IN DUNKIRK? Would love to see it!

Patsy
Patsy on October 27, 2007 at 2:16 am

Paul: You anticipated my question though I was hoping to read that this guy was going to reopen the Regent and not pour any cement for other plans. I hope you get in before he makes those changes! The nearby Catholic church must have sold it as they were using the building for storage when I stopped at the church. I was hoping to see the interior then, but nobody offered.

psomerf
psomerf on October 27, 2007 at 2:01 am

I was speaking with some olks around Dunkirk lately. It seems that the new owner of the regent is the guy who owns Payne’s kettle & Keg and Walleye Willies, amoung other things. He was lamenting to a hardware store owner about how much it is going to cost him for the concrete to level off the loor of the Regent. Not to make it better to put new seats in, but to eliminate the slant in the auditorium. He has no intention of reopening the theatre, but to do something else, likely turn it into apartments. If i get the chance to introduce myself to him, i will try to get inside the Regent prior to the pour to get pictures. But it is up to him, and my schedule. (I won’t be back in Dunkirk until Thankgiving.)

To anticipate your question Patsy, Kettle is on Lake Shore Drive, East, just east of Middle Road, just before the closed Coastal gas station. They have good, but huge, fish n their friday fish fry. On Fridays only, they open at 11 am, $6 fry until 4 pm, then it costs $7 or $8 until midnight.

Patsy
Patsy on June 9, 2007 at 2:42 pm

tim: And I hope you find that photo of when the Regent was “brand new”!

Patsy
Patsy on June 9, 2007 at 2:41 pm

tim: Interesting to read that you have some of the old posters, etc. If only this theatre in Dunkirk could be brought back as the slanted floor is still there and has not been ‘messed with’. I just read your entire March 15 post and was sad to read about the mold on the walls and that the seats are gone though I did find out about 2 years ago that the nearby Catholic church had purchased the building and was using it as storage. I have made one attempt to see the interior, but to no avail though will keep working on that hope/desire!

psomerf
psomerf on June 9, 2007 at 8:14 am

I heard some folks talking about the Regent at Post 62 recently, but because I was visiting with an old friend I couldn’t interrupt both of our conversations to be nosy. I thought I had heard that the new owners bought the place for a song ($25,000), had considered turning it into a bar. But they couldn’t get around the slanted floor. (Maybe they should visit one of my favorite book stores, the Book Star, on Point Loma, in San Diego. Level floors, but three levels, stepping down every so often.)

timvanwey
timvanwey on March 15, 2007 at 5:21 pm

HELLO EVERYONE!

WHEN THE REGENT FINALLY CLOSED SOME OF US TOOK SOMETHINGS WE WANTED. I TOOK SOME OLD MOVIE POSTERS, AND ONE OF THE EMPLOYEE’S TOOK THE CLOCK. IT IS STILL IN DUNKIRK! I DON’T BELIEVE IT IS FOR SALE. THE REASON I FOUND THIS SITE IS BECAUSE SOMEONE IN DUNKIRK BOUGHT THE REGENT FROM THE DIOCESE OF BUFFALO AND I WAS JUST WONDERING IF ANYONE KNEW WHAT HIS PLANS FOR THE THEATER ARE. THE LAST TIME I WAS IN THE THEATER AFTER IT WAS CLOSED IT WAS IN VERY BAD SHAPE. MOLD ALL OVER THE WALLS, SEATS ARE GONE BUT ONLY HALF WAY DOWN THE THEATER, SCREEN IS GONE, CONCESSION STAND IS GONE, PROJECTOR AND PLATTER SYSTEM HAVE ALL BEEN REMOVED AND TAKEN TO ANOTHER THEATER OWNED BY DISPON THEATERS OUT OF AMHERST. WE ALL LOVED WORKING AT ALL THE THEATERS IN DUNKIRK. I USED TO HAVE A PICTURE THAT WAS GIVEN TO ME OF THE REGENT WHEN IT WAS BRAND NEW, BUT I CAN’T FIND IT ANYMORE. FROM TIME TO TIME SOME OF US EMPLOYEES GET TOGETHER (ALL LIVE IN DUNKIRK) AND JUST TALK ABOUT THE OLD TIMES WE HAD AND ALL THE MOVIES!

Patsy
Patsy on March 13, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Hopefully Tim will be able to fill in the blanks via my email address. Thanks for the info you did provide though as you both have Regent memories.

psomerf
psomerf on March 13, 2007 at 1:29 pm

I wasn’t the one who claimed to know its current whereabouts. I just know where it was when the theater was operating.

Patsy
Patsy on March 13, 2007 at 1:07 pm

Paul: Do you or Tim know if the clock is for sale and still in the Dunkirk area?

psomerf
psomerf on March 13, 2007 at 1:13 am

It was in the auditorium, to the left hand side, near the rear exit.

Patsy
Patsy on March 13, 2007 at 12:23 am

Was the clock lighted in an art deco style and hung in the lobby?