Regent Theatre

208 S. 3rd Street,
Hamilton, OH 45011

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dallasmovietheaters on February 27, 2019 at 3:17 am

The Grand Theatre launched March 2, 1908. It was architected by Frederick G. Mueller. In 1921, it was renamed Regent Theatre likely on a 10-year lease. It closed in 1931 but re-opened as the Playhouse in April of 1931. The venue had live events and plays for a short time before closing for good. In 1932, the space was retrofitted for Miller Bros. Paint & Wallpaper store.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 19, 2018 at 10:55 pm

When the Jewel Theatre building was demolished in 1971, the January 26 issue of the Hamilton Daily News and Journal published an article about it that included information about Hamilton’s other early theaters. One thing it said was that in 1926, when the Jewel closed, the Grand Theatre had already been renamed the Regent Theatre. In fact, Hamilton’s newspapers were advertising the Regent Theatre at least as early as 1924.

The FDY’s from 1927 through 1929 double-list the house both as the Grand and the Regent. Only the Palace and the Rialto are listed for Hamilton in 1930— quite a comedown for a city that had nine theaters (not including the double listing for the Grand) in 1929. The Regent is then listed from 1931 through 1937, but except for 1931 is always listed as closed. It was apparently never wired for sound.

The reason for the Regent’s long desuetude might have been revealed in a June 19, 1931, article in the Hamilton Evening Journal, which said that the Jewel Photoplay Company had sublet the Rialto and Regent Theatres to Paramount-Publix, the Rialto for ten years and the Regent for one year with an option to renew annually.

The rent on the Regent was quite low, $2,750 a year, and the agreement allowed Publix to use the house for such events as boxing and wrestling matches. It could be that Publix simply kept renewing its lease in order to prevent any other company from reopening and operating the 700-seat Regent in competition with its new Paramount Theatre and the Rialto, which Publix was also operating. It essentially cost them nothing to keep the Regent closed, as the agreement stipulated that if the lease on the Regent was terminated the $13,001 rent on the Rialto would automatically increase by the $2,750 amount of the rent on the Regent.