133 Queen's Road,
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The Regent Cinema opened 27th July 1921 by Provincial Cinematograph Theatres Ltd.(PCT) on the site of the historic Unicorn Inn (built 1597, demolished 1920) and other buildings. It was equipped with a Norman Hill & Beard 3Manual organ with 38 stops. Facilities included a Georgian Restaurant with orchestra, Ship Cafe and upstairs on the roof a ‘Winter Garden’, which was converted into a 1,000 capacity dance hall in 1923.
The Regent Cinema was the first of PCT’s super cinemas, costing more than 40,000 pounds. It was designed by Robert Atkinson with interiors by Walpole Champneys, including murals by Walter Bayes, principal of the Royal College of Art. The proscenium was designed by Lawrence Preston of Brighton College of Art.
In January 1929 a fire did much damage to the stage end and auditorium and the building was closed while repairs and renovations took place. It reopened after a remodel and the installation of a Western Electric(WE) sound system on July 1, 1929 with Al Jolson in “The Singing Fool”. A new Wurlitzer 2Manual/9Ranks organ was installed and opened by organist Terence Casey. On Sundays silent films continued to be screened for a while, with live performances on the stage. Gaumont British Theatres chain were soon operating the cinema. In later years, it became part of the Rank Organisation.
In July 1967 the ballroom became a bingo hall. The Regent Cinema closed on 14th April 1973 with Liza Minneli in “Cabaret” and it was demolished in 1974, the site being occupied by a Boots chemist store.
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