ABC Staines

Clarence Street,
Staines, TW18

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ABC Staines

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Located in Staines, Middlesex, to the west of todays' Greater London. Built for and operated by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) the Regal Cinema opened on 20th February 1939 with Janet Gaynor in "Three Loves Has Nancy". Designed by W.R. Glen ABC’s in-house architect, the facade was a plain brick mass, only broken by a central window. Inside the auditorium, seating was provided for 1,103 in the stalls and 510 in the circle.

The Regal Cinema was closed on 30th May 1970, for an expensive twinning and didn’t reopen until 11th March 1971 with Frankie Howard in "Up Pompeii" and Clint Eastwood in "Kelly’s Heroes". Now re-named ABC 1&2 it had seating provided for 694 in the former stalls and 586 in the former circle. The original internal Art Deco style decorations of W.R. Glen had been totally removed.

This only lasted a short time, as on 11th November 1972 ABC 2 in the former stalls was closed for twinning, creating two screens seating 361 and 174. The cinema reopened as ABC 1,2,3 on 22nd January 1973.

Taken over by the EMI Group in 1979, it was taken over by the Cannon Group in February 1986, and was re-named Cannon later that year. From 16th April 1993, it was re-named MGM. Taken over in a management buy-out in 1998, it became the ABC again.

But the writing was on the wall as a new multiplex was planned in the area, and plans were proposed to demolish the ABC. Taken over by Odeon Theatres Ltd, it finally closed on 14th January 2001 with "Unbreakable", "Meet the Parents" and "The Family Man". The building was demolished in August 2001, and luxury flats were built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 14, 2010 at 11:44 am

A set of vintage photographs of the Regal/ABC Staines:
View link

Mike_Blakemore on September 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Correction. ABC was NOT taken over by ODEON… ABC bought out Odeon and as the Strongest name brand was Odeon they chained the whole chain to Odeon..

Mike_Blakemore on September 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Have put a photo view of the Stage just before the opening…

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