10-16 The Avenue,
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The Regal Theatre -- Minehead (Official)
Architects: Andrew Mather
Functions: Live Performances, Live Theatre, Movies (Independent), Stage Shows, Supermarket
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Regal Cinema
The Regal Cinema opened on 2nd July 1934 with Jessie Matthews in “Evergreen”. The opening was attended by actor Clifford Mollinson and the architect Andrew Mather. It was built for an independent company known as Minehead Entertainments Ltd. which was operated by the Jay family.
The Regal Cinema is a splendid building that had an original seating capacity of 1,250 in stalls and circle levels. The front of the building is in red brick with stone dressings and is dominated a large fin tower. It also included a large ballroom which was opened by Debroy Somers and his Band and a cafe. The stage was used for occasional variety shows and was 27 feet deep. The proscenium opening was 48 feet wide.
It was twinned on 25th November 1979 with 444 seats and 750 seats. In February 1981 the stalls seating area was converted into a KwikSave supermarket. The circle was extended forward to accomodate the screen upsairs which continued in film use with occasional live stage shows until 27th October 1994 when it was closed.
Since then it has re-opened and is now operated by the Minehead Amateur Theatrical Association who stage productions. Occasional film shows are held and are presented by the Regal Film Society.
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Recent comments (view all 10 comments)
Photo from the 1970’s here:
We are researching films shown in December 1955. Is this sort of information kept in an archive somewhere?
Joshbc;The local newspaper should hold an archive of back-issues which will contain adverts for the cinema.
The Regal Theatre, photographed in June 2008;
The Regal had been owned by the B.T. Davis family and Ken Jones from Late 1950’s to 1981. Then renting the Theatre out for a number of years
Replying to an old post but sorry Mike you are wrong, the Regal Cinema was built, owned and run by my Grandfather, Sam Jay, from 1934 to 1968 when he retired. I suspect Ken Jones might have bought it in 1968.
Simon. BT Davis Family (51%) Ken Jones Family 25% , Dr Rowe (24%) bought the Theatre not sure of the exact year. Ken Jones Jr Managed the theatre.. I was B T Davis’s General Manager of his Birmingham Interests. I am just wrong with the year. It is a shame there are no Interior pictures of how it was. Considering it was an Andrew Mather design, the same architect that did Odeon Leicester square. These details are now correct. as being 1968. That question is now solved.
Mike, many thanks and very interesting, I am guessing that the above purchased the cinema from my Grandfather when he retired at the age of 79 in 1968. My Father has some material of the cinema, but to my knowledge the only interior photo is one of my Grandfather in his office there. For interest, you may be aware of the Pathe news article covering the opening of the Regal Cinema in 1934, in it my Grandfather is pictured talking to Clifford Mollison in the cinema foyer.
I remember watching the 1987 film The Running Man with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead part in this cinema. It was in Screen 2, in the former circle foyer area I think it was, seating around 40-50.
The cinema is now operating as The Avenue and has a separate entry on the site. Kwik Save in the picture is now Poundland as of May 2023.