Cannon Gloucester

33 St Aldate Street,
Gloucester, GL1 1RP

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Regal Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in St. Aldate Street, facing Kings Square, the Regal Cinema was the last picture palace built in Gloucester. Construction work started in 1939 to the plans of Associated British Cinemas(ABC) ‘in-house’ architect W.R. Glen, but was delayed by the outbreak of war.

Building recommenced in 1955 when restrictions were lifted to a modified plan by architect W.R. Farrow, which included a 25 feet deep stage and five dressing rooms. Seating was provided for 1,006 in the stalls and 462 in the circle.

The Regal Cinema was opened on 19th March 1956 with Janette Scott in “Now and Forever” and “Night Plane to Amsterdam”. For the first two weeks Hubert Selby played at the temporarily installed Hammond electronic organ. The first stage show starred singer David Whitfield which played for 6 days from 16th April 1956. From then until 1974, many top name stars and annual pantomimes appeared on stage at the Regal Cinema.

In March 1963, it was re-named ABC. It was taken over by EMI in February 1974, and was closed for conversion to a triple screen cinema on 6th April 1974, with the final film screen in the single auditorium being “The Legend of Frenchie King”.

The 3-screen ABC opened on 22nd July 1974, with 658 seats in the former circle extended forward, and in the former stalls a 348 seat and a 294 seat auditorium.

Taken over by the Cannon Group and re-named Cannon in 1986, it was closed on 12th December 1990.

The building was purchased by the JD Wetherspoon pub chain and converted into one of their bars, opening as The Regal on 3rd April 1996.

Contributed by Adrian Hetherington, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 4, 2011 at 11:17 am

A vintage photograph of the Regal Cinema in its second week of opening in March 1956:
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Auditorium at opening in 1956:
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As the newly re-named ABC in April 1963, playing a live show on stage:
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TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Thanks for posting the photos Ken.

spikeyriter
spikeyriter on September 9, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Where could I get a list of performers who graced the stage of the Regal?

geoffjc
geoffjc on November 19, 2011 at 9:44 am

In the absence of any other source coming forward, the local newspaper archive at the library, and a lot of time, should yield details of live performances at the Regal.You could try writing to the local paper (The Citizen) who might know of someone who kept a scrapbook of cuttings or can publish your enquiry.

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