Kirkgate and Sun Lane,
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Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.
Architects: William Riddell Glen
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Regal Cinema, ABC
News About This Theater
- Dec 25, 2007 — ABC Wakefield uncovered
The Regal Cinema was designed by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in-house architect William R. Glen, and opened on 9th December 1935. It has a town centre location on Kirkgate at the corner of Sun Lane facing into, and visible from, the town centre.
Not as large as some later ABC houses the Regal Cinema accommodated 1,594 but had a full stage 26 feet deep behind the 43 feet wide proscenium. The interior was rather plainer than many of Glen’s cinema designs with concealed lighting under the balcony and at the rear of the ceiling and pendant fittings casting light upwards towards the front of the cinema.
It was renamed ABC in 1962 and became a triple operation from 11th November 1976 with screen 1 seating 532 in the balcony using the original screen and projection suite and screen 2 (236 seats) and 3 (170 seats) in the rear stalls area.
It was taken over by Cannon Cinemas chain in April 1986, and was renamed Cannon. It closed in 1997 following the Cineplex multi-screen cinema opening in December 1996 and has been empty and ‘For Sale’. A covenant restricting its use to film exhibition has been the reason the site has not been redeveloped or alternative uses found for the ever deteriorating building. The building was acquired by Wakefield Council. In late-July 2021, despite protests, the Council passed a resolution that the building would be demolished.
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