16 Broadway, Norris Green,
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Located in the Norris Green district of north-east Liverpool, the Regal Cinema was built to serve, what was in the early-1930’s, Liverpool’s largest new housing estate. The Regal Cinema was the first cinema to be built in the city specifically designed for ‘talkies’. It opened on 27th January 1930 with Charles King in "Broadway Melody".
The exterior was in red rustic brick, with wide bands of white Snowcrete cement. Inside the auditorium, seating was provided on a stadium plan, with stepped rows at the rear, rather than an overhanging balcony. It was decorated in an Atmospheric style, with painted panels on the side walls representing lake and mountain scenery. These panels were divided by palasters, which had concealed lights at the top, that reflected light onto the graduated blue sky ceiling. The proscenium was 50 feet wide, and there was a 14 feet deep stage and five dressing rooms.
The Regal Cinema was independently operated until 1935, when it was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain. It was closed for a couple of months in 1955, for a major refurbishment, which removed the Atmospheric style interior, replacing it with a plain Art Deco style.
The Regal Cinema was a popular cinema for many years, but began operating as a part time bingo club on Tuesday and Friday evening from 1963. It screened its last films Kenneth Williams in "Carry On Spying" and Bernard Lee in "Who Was Maddox?" on 10th October 1964.
In 1966, it became a full time Mecca Bingo Club, which continued successfully until it was hit by the ban on smoking in public places and closed in March 2007. In 2010, the empty building is available ‘To Let’ for proposed retail use.
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