THE REGENT Centre has announced that it is preparing to re-open its doors on Thursday November 12 following it’s most significant restoration since originally opening as the towns ‘Super-Cinema’ in 1931.

The venue shut in March but was previously committed to this restoration project to ensure that patrons could continue enjoying the cinema when its reopen and for generations to come.

Through customer generosity and careful management of the venue, funds have been raised over the last two years to allocate £350,000 for project restoration, which commenced in late June this year as previously planned.

General Manager of the Regent Centre Matthew Vass-White, said: “The Regent Centre had become a little worn around the edges and we are pleased that we were able to continue with the restoration project through a very challenging time.

"Indeed, we’ve heard of many theatres and cinemas who have utilized this time to undertake many similar projects.

"As we work towards a reopening date for film screenings in November, we have invested upwards of £10,000 in Covid compliancy equipment and doubled our cleaning operation."

Gary Trinder, the Chairman of the Regent and project lead for the restoration said that the aim was to simplify the decorative scheme that had previously comprised 14 different colours to five colours to enhance the buildings original features.

A timeline of 1936 was decided upon, and the deep rose, metallic silver and gold together with black and dark brown colours are all reflective of that period.

The whole of the decorative scheme throughout the auditorium, including the foyer and staircases was undertaken by BCP Council who tendered for the work and used local craftsmen to apply the specialist finishes from a huge scaffold that was erected in the auditorium.

A bespoke woven Axminster carpet was specified and manufactured in the UK by Brintons who used their historic design files to obtain a pattern from the mid 30’s period.

New seating with high-comfort foam, manufactured by theatre seating experts Kirwin & Simpson from Grays in Essex, have been installed and furnished with a traditional design of the early-30’s period.

Legroom has been increased particularly in the circle.

The cinema are now putting in the necessary precaution in order to open in November, although the exact date has not been confirmed.

Matthew Vass-White added: “Our staff and volunteers are in the process of undergoing a Covid-19 training course certified by the UK Cinema Association and we’ve thought through every possible scenario to make sure that we can adapt to circumstances as they continue to change.

“We will be operating at a budget deficit until a national solution is found and we very much appreciate the support of our customers who continue to purchase tickets, buy gift vouchers and make donations with us”.