National operator signs deal for The Regent

A national cinema operator has signed a deal to run The Regent in Redcar.

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council has reached an agreement with Merlin Cinemas, which runs cinemas in coastal towns across the UK. 

After a period of uncertainty for cinemas, blockbusters such as Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World saw record-breaking numbers return to the Box Office, forecasting a brighter future for the industry.

Before an opening date can be agreed, final preparations need to take place, such as recruiting and training a team of staff including a General Manager. 

Local people are being invited to apply and anyone interested in employment opportunities can email for further details at adding the word ‘Cinema’ in the subject line.

The submitting and approval of an alcohol licence also needs to take place, which is ongoing, through the normal Licensing approval arrangements.

Once opened, a standard adult ticket could cost around £8.50, a child ticket £6.50 and a senior £7.50, but local people are urged to take advantage of a Magic Movie Card, which would discount tickets to around £6 for adults, £5.50 for senior adults and £4.50 for children. 

The Regent is home to three screen rooms with state-of-the-art audio-visual technology, and the auditoria include allocated disabled spaces.

Its second-floor screen room and café-bar, with panoramic views of the stunning coastline and a sheltered terrace, are all fully accessible via a lift.

As with the old cinema, parking is available on Turner Street, Newcomen Terrace and Station Road, with several bus stops and the train station all within a short walking distance.

Construction of the £9.6million Regent was part of the £20million Welcome to Redcar programme funded by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority.

Cllr Chris Gallacher, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth at the council explained:

“It has been a really tumultuous time for cinemas up and down the country due to the pandemic, but things are certainly looking brighter, and we are absolutely over the moon that Merlin Cinemas have been named as the operator.

“They have vast experience in this area and run cinemas in coastal towns across the country.

“We are so looking forward to welcoming many people back to the Regent, and we want to thank our residents for being so patient with us while we finalised the plans. We do ask for a bit more patience while the operator gets ready to open. We will soon see you at the movies!”


Geoff Greaves Director of Merlin Cinemas said:

Seeing a film at the cinema with family or friends is a very different experience to watching the film at home. With the latest digital projection and sound, it is more memorable, and offers a sense of occasion.

With facilities for children’s parties, private hires, school screenings and presentations, I believe the cinema will be a valuable social amenity and help to invigorate Redcar town centre as well as providing local employment.

“Cinema-going in the UK has experienced a huge renaissance over recent years with over a 160 million visits to the cinema in the year before the pandemic, the signs are that now post-pandemic people are again coming back to see films on the big screen at the cinema.  We believe that Redcar deserves a good cinema. and are delighted to have reached agreement with the council to operate The Regent. We look froward to welcoming local people to the cinema just as soon as the formalities have all been completed.”


Cllr Neil Baldwin, ward member for Coatham, said:

“This is exciting and welcome news for Redcar. It’s a great achievement that the Regent project has been delivered within budget and that many efforts were made to keep investment local through the procurement process, trying to create as many opportunities for local suppliers as possible.

“When we went out to consult on what the public wanted, they told us a cinema that’s affordable, so I’m really pleased that admission prices will be kept affordable through Merlin’s ticket system. I look forward to opening day.”