Regent Road – Open 1934 – 1988
The Regal opened in January 1934 with a grand ceremony attended by the film star Merle Oberon. The film “The Private Life of Henry VIII”, in which she starred as Anne Boleyn, was the first film to be shown at the new cinema.
The cinema showed a range of films and variety shows over the years that it was open. One gentleman recalls how strict the Regal was on letting unaccompanied children in to see films with an “Adult” rating. As a result, he did not go there as much, but he did once manage to sneak into a film deemed unsuitable for children. The film was “Simba”, based on the real story of a settler in Kenya confronting the Mao Mao. At thirteen years old, the murder of a family shocked the gentleman greatly and he has never seen the film since.
Open for 54 years, the last films to be shown at the Regal were the night screening of “Raw” and the matinee showing of “E.T” in 1988. The cinema was later demolished to be replaced with shops.