Regent Cinema

Preston New Road and Cambridge Road,
Churchtown,
Southport, PR9

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Located close to Churchtown Railway Station in the Churchtown district to the north of Southport, Merseyside. The Savoy Cinema was built for the Birkdale Picture Palace Co. It was opened on 8th December 1928 with Joan Lockton and Brian Aherne in “A Woman Redeemed”. Designed by Southport based architect Albert Schofield with an Atmospheric style interior. The lower parts of the auditorium side-walls represented stone walling with breaks for entrances and exits, which were adapted to represent entrances to an Italian style garden that had buildings with Romanesque style windows. The ceiling had a black starry night theme. The proscenium was 30ft wide, and the projection box was at the rear of the stage, allowing for rear projection. There was a stage and several dressing rooms provided. Seating was provided on a stadium plan, with a raised stepped section at the rear, rather than a conventional overhanging balcony.

In early-1930 William Walker who had been manager od the Coliseum Cinema, Southport for the previous 18 years became the new manager of the Savoy Cinema which was re-named Regent Cinema. A Western Electric(WE) sound system was installed. In May 1933, Mr. Walker died suddenly while watching a film at the Regent Cinema.

CinemaScope was installed in 1956, but the Birkdale Picture Palace Co. closed the Regent Cinema on 27th May 1957 with Tony Curtis in “So This is Paris” and Audie Murphy in “Destry Rides Again”. The building was used for many years as a garage until March 1982 when it was demolished and an Esso service station was built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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