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Merlin Cinemas (Official)
Operated by: Merlin Cinemas
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Previous Names: Cromer Theatre of Varieties, Central Cinema, Regal Cinema
Opened in 1914 as the Cromer Theatre of Varieties, presenting films, live shows and boxing. Eventually it became a full time cinema, known as the Central Cinema. Seating was provided for 500 on one floor. In the 1920’s a 160 seat capacity balcony was added. The proscenium was 20 feet wide.
It was taken over by Victor E. Harrison in around 1930 and converted to ‘talkies’, re-opening with Maurice Chevalier in "The Love Parade" and re-named Regal Cinema.
The Regal Cinema closed at the end of the summer season in 1976, but was later re-opened. In early-1985, the operating company went into liquidation, but it was purchased by a London based company and re-opened on 19th April 1985.
In February 1986, it was closed for renovations, re-opening in May 1986. A café/bar occupied the rear stalls area under the balcony, which reduced the seating capacity to 326 in the front stalls and balcony levels. On January 30th 1988, the Regal Cinema held a gala premiere of the film "White Mischief" with film stars John Hurt & Joss Ackland attending, as well as TV presenter Barrie Norman.
In September 1989, the Regal Cinema was twinned with the screen in the former front stalls using the original proscenium opening, and a separate screen in the former balcony. A third screen was added on 20th September 1991, using the former rear stalls area. In September 1994 a fourth screen was added in former office space.
In December 2005 the Regal Cinema was taken over by Merlin Cinemas and re-named Regal Movieplex. Seating capacities in the screens are now:125, 125, 66 and 54.
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