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History of the Regent Cinema


Film lovers have always been well catered for in Redcar, with three cinemas in 1937. One of these, the Regent was originally sited in the town centre. Although demolished there in the 1960s, the name now lives on in the former New Pavilion building on the seafront.

Regent Cinema 1953

The New Pavilion was built in 1928 over the entrance of the defunct Coatham Pier, and was roofed entirely in glass. Still known to older residents as the glasshouse it seated 800 and enjoyed a long period of success as a music hall and repertory theatre. Radio Tymes 1950's

The most popular summer show was Radio Tymes hosted by Barry Wood in the early 1950s. The singing group The Dallas Boys appeared regularly, but the artiste who really hit the big time was Billy Breen, alias Larry Grayson. His two catchphrases shut that door and references to Slack Alice are believed to have originated in Redcar. He used to shout "Shut that door", when a side door had been left open and a wind blew across the stage straight from the sea.

With the demise of the seaside theatre the building remained almost derelict for many years until it was resurrected as a cinema. The Regent was run by the Cleveland Cinema Co-operative for ten years but it finally folded against competition from the emerging multiplexes.

Regent Cinema, Atonement set 2006As a teenager Neil Bates was an enthusiastic member of this co-operative and while working in the ice cream parlour next door he drew up a rescue plan. With family support he revived the cinema in 1990 and has been providing the latest releases to an appreciative local audience since then. Now showing 3D films.

It has not been easy for Neil to maintain the small, one-screen independent cinema.
Neil Bates Regent Manager "There have been long periods when accounts went down and down, films where you expect to take money fail abysmally and you know it's a stress before the next one."

"I am very proud we have kept the Regent open. The cinema was also featured and used in the film Atonement in 2006.

Neil was a very proud manager when his cinema provided not just a key location for some of the scenes in the film but gave the town the red carpet opportunity to premiere the film in the region.

Regent Cinema, today

"In 1990 I brought the cinema back from the brink of extinction, now it's actually part of the film world. There was certainly a sense of emotion, a sense of delivery. (Quote given when the film Atonement was shown at the Regent cinema) "

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