Extra seats and stand-up on stage: meet the former Blue Coat hoping to bring new life to the Regent Centre

BOOST: Greg Rawlings wants to inject some fresh vitality into centre

BOOST: Greg Rawlings wants to inject some fresh vitality into centre

First published in News by

THE new manager of the Regent Centre in Christchurch has promised to inject fresh vitality into the venue and oversee cosmetic improvements to the building.

Greg Rawlings, a former Pontins Blue Coat who grew up in the area, joined the centre two weeks ago after supervising the conversion of the former Moderne cinema, Winton, into a multi-purpose conference centre.

His remit at the Regent is to continue the work started by his predecessor, Eliot Walker, who is leaving to manage the Citygate conference centre in Bournemouth.

Mr Rawlings stressed he wants to maintain the theatre’s atmosphere, which is largely run by volunteers, but is keen to explore the possibility of broadening the range of events offered to appeal to a younger audience.

“I am not looking to change things that are clearly working,” he said.

“The cinema has gone from strength to strength and the satellite broadcasts of arts events around the world are particularly popular.”

These broadcasts have shown opera from New York, ballet in Moscow and in April an Elton John performance live from Las Vegas is scheduled.

He added that he also wants to bring stand-up comedians and more original music acts to the stage.

However, it is the changes to the building that will be most noticeable, with the foyer being re-decorated in the art deco style of the Regent’s 1930’s heritage and the installation of 28 additional seats to bring the theatre’s capacity up to 488.

The ‘tired’ frontage will also be given a facelift.

Mr Rawlings said: “It is such a wonderful gem in the community and a vital part of the cultural scene.”

Comments (5)

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9:07pm Wed 12 Feb 14

twynham says...

I wish him luck but he really has to improve the variety of artists who are prepared to play there.
Look at the Tivoli's calendar compared to the Regent, they are poles apart in every genre, and many of the acts that now play the Tivoli used to play the Regent.
I wish him luck but he really has to improve the variety of artists who are prepared to play there. Look at the Tivoli's calendar compared to the Regent, they are poles apart in every genre, and many of the acts that now play the Tivoli used to play the Regent. twynham
  • Score: 4

11:27pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Yankee1 says...

twynham wrote:
I wish him luck but he really has to improve the variety of artists who are prepared to play there.
Look at the Tivoli's calendar compared to the Regent, they are poles apart in every genre, and many of the acts that now play the Tivoli used to play the Regent.
Not so sure.

The 'Sons of Cream' concert for Friday has been cancelled.
[quote][p][bold]twynham[/bold] wrote: I wish him luck but he really has to improve the variety of artists who are prepared to play there. Look at the Tivoli's calendar compared to the Regent, they are poles apart in every genre, and many of the acts that now play the Tivoli used to play the Regent.[/p][/quote]Not so sure. The 'Sons of Cream' concert for Friday has been cancelled. Yankee1
  • Score: 0

8:16am Thu 13 Feb 14

new2it says...

Just hope he does something to improve things for the deaf and hard of hearing. It was good when they used to have one evening a week with sub=titles on the films, very helpful. The equipment they currently have is useless, and anyway, it is of no help to somebody who is stone deaf, they need sub-titles. There are many films I would like to see, but don't go because it is too frustrating trying to follow the conversations.
Just hope he does something to improve things for the deaf and hard of hearing. It was good when they used to have one evening a week with sub=titles on the films, very helpful. The equipment they currently have is useless, and anyway, it is of no help to somebody who is stone deaf, they need sub-titles. There are many films I would like to see, but don't go because it is too frustrating trying to follow the conversations. new2it
  • Score: 1

10:05am Thu 13 Feb 14

hobosolero says...

More Live Music and Plays please - all of which would be well attended!
More Live Music and Plays please - all of which would be well attended! hobosolero
  • Score: 0

11:03am Thu 13 Feb 14

new2it says...

hobosolero wrote:
More Live Music and Plays please - all of which would be well attended!
Would love to have more plays especially, if the problem is resolved for the hard of hearing.
[quote][p][bold]hobosolero[/bold] wrote: More Live Music and Plays please - all of which would be well attended![/p][/quote]Would love to have more plays especially, if the problem is resolved for the hard of hearing. new2it
  • Score: 1

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