Local activists were celebrating today (Tuesday 27 January) after the completion of a renovation for the much-loved Regent Cinema on Redcar Seafront. The cinema roof has been rebuilt, the exterior has been repainted with a new sign and an LCD display are in place to show what films are on.
Just under a year ago a campaign was launched to save the Regent cinema after it emerged a bid had been accepted for a multi-leisure development on the Coatham Bowl site and rumours circulated that the Regent was under threat.
A Facebook site was set up to 'Save the Regent' and received over 4000 ‘likes’ within 48 hours. A public meeting was held in May 2014 to discuss the cinema’s future, chaired by Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate Anna Turley. Over 50 people attended and the Leader of the Council George Dunning, Cabinet Member Olwyn Peters attended, pledging that the future of the cinema was safe.
As a result of that meeting the council agreed to undertake some renovation of the building which had been overlooked during the seafront regeneration, and the Regent Heritage Trust was established as a community group seeking to preserve public interest and support for the iconic building. Members of the Trust and the public came together last August to give the cinema interior a deep clean in preparation for the renovation.
Cinema Proprietor Neil Bates said:
"The cinema is looking fantastic! The overwhelming public support we have received in this process has been so inspiring and I am really glad the community and the council have been able to give our wonderful cinema the facelift she deserves."
Chair of the Regent Heritage Trust Natalie King said:
"I’m delighted our campaign has had such a great outcome! The public response was terrific and I’d like to thank the Council for undertaking this work."
Anna Turley, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate said:
"It’s great to see the cinema looking so good! This shows what people can achieve when they come together to change things. There is so much to be proud of in our town and the Regent is an important part of our seaside heritage."