Regent Cinema

42 Cinque Ports Street,
Rye, TN31 7AN

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Shipman & King Cinemas Ltd.

Architects: Henry W. Coussens, David Evelyn Nye

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

Regent Cinema

Located in the small East Sussex town of Rye. The Regent Cinema was opened in October 1932 with 671 seats as a replacement to the Rye Electric Palace. It was designed by architect Henry Coussens of Hastings. Built for the Shipman & King Circuit, it was their fourth purpose built cinema. The Regent Cinema received a direct hit by German bombs in 1942, killing the assistant manager who had just finished supervising a training show. The ruined remains stood abandoned for several years.

In 1948, Shipman & King employed architect David E. Nye to design a new Regent Cinema on part of the old Regent Cinema site. Similar in design to the old cinema, this one contained 744 seats, in a stadium plan, with a raised stepped section at the rear of the auditorium rather than an overhanging balcony. The ‘new’ Regent Cinema was opened on 11th March 1948 with Michael Dennison in “My Brother Jonathan”.

Taken over by EMI in 1967, the Regent Cinema was closed on 29th September 1973. The building stood empty for several years, but was eventually demolished and the Regent Motel was built and opened on the site in 1984.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Buffer on March 3, 2021 at 6:59 am

After the original Regent was bombed and until it was replaced 6 years later, a cinema was set up in the old Monastery building at the top of Conduit Hill. A poster for the Monastery Cinema was acquired by the CTA archive. Woodgates of Tenterden built the replacement Regent and also the house of a CTA member who worked in the new cinema projection box.

ColinA on April 4, 2021 at 7:54 am

In 1975, Paul McCartney and Wings rehearsed here before their massive tour of the USA. Paul lives just up the road.. When we could see inside, they had removed the front 5-10 rows of seats, so they could get their gear in. Myself and 3-4 mates hang around every day for about a month outside the side door listening to them rehearsing.

At the and of the day Paul and Linda would come out and chat to us, Paul very kindly signed the back of an old bass guitar I had. They were the nicest people.

I was just 15 yrs old at the time. Hardly anyone knew they were there. Amazing really. Could you ever imagine that happening today.. I would love to meet Paul again, and chat about those days..

So sad that the place we knocked down..

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