Cannon Norwich

86-88 Prince of Wales Road,
Norwich, NR1 1NJ

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ABC Regent Cinema

Opened as the Regent Theatre, a cine-variety theatre, on 3rd December 1923. Designed by architects G. Duncan Fitt with J. Owen Bond, it had 1,800 seats and utilised two shops in a terrace as the entrance foyer with the auditorium constructed behind the terrace. The auditorium had a barrel vaulted ceiling and boxes either side of the stage. The proscenium was 30 feet wide, and the raked stage was 25 feet deep. There was a fly tower and three dressing rooms. The Regent Theatre also boasted a cafe and ballroom atached.

It was taken over by Associated British Cinema(ABC) in July 1929. In 1939 it closed for alterations and reopened with 1,523 seats. Renamed ABC in 1961 the cinema closed once more for tripling in 1973. Screen 1 had 524 seats in the former circle whilst screens 2 and 3 occupied the stalls with 343 and 186 seats. A 74 video cinema was opened in 1978 in the cafe area. This closed in 1985 and was reopened in 1989 (using film) with 105 seats.

Taken over by the Cannon Cinemas chain in April 1986, all four screens closed in the early-2000’s, and the interior was gutted and the balcony removed. The shell of the building was converted into the 2,300 capacity Mercy Nightclub which opened on 23rd September 2003.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ian on May 11, 2007 at 1:30 pm

Exterior photo here:–

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Dez1977 on December 6, 2011 at 9:03 pm

My cousin, a projectionist at this lovely cinema (he had worked in the industry since the early 1960’s) invited me to the final day of it’s operation at the tail end of 2001. It was a very sad day for the staff, but nice to be there. I saw several films there over the years, my favourite event was going to see six “Star Trek” films play together in early 1992.

rasLXR on May 11, 2012 at 11:11 pm

1961 About Anglia: Reconstruction of Regent Cinema, Norwich

rasLXR on May 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm

1978 Anglia News: Video Cassettes for Cinema

rasLXR on May 11, 2012 at 11:18 pm

1950 This film was made by Ken Smith, who was the chief projectionist at the Regent Theatre, Norwich (subsequently the ABC) for many years

Mike_Blakemore on June 28, 2012 at 1:25 am

Have put a picture of a Royal Visit to the Cinema

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