Description: Regal Cinema
Date Listed: 13 November 2000
English Heritage Building ID: 486875
OS Grid Reference: SP0420943620
OS Grid Coordinates: 404209, 243620
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0909, -1.9400
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SP0443 PORT STREET
897/3/10002 (North side)
13-NOV-00 Regal Cinema
Cinema, incorprating two shops at ground-floor-level. 1932 to the designs of Hurley Robinson. Steel frame clad in brick with artificial Guildstone bands and decorations; some now painted. Rectangular plan, with double-height auditorium, having single balcony, set behind streetfront of offices and entered from circular corner entrance.
The main street frontage is framed in stonework, dominated by a cornice rising and becoming fluted over corner entrance and flanked by piers with fluted pennants. Similar pendentives to the architraves which surround the windows over entrance; these are metal windows with margin lights; those above are insertions. Corner entrance flanked by reeded columns with lotus leaf tops, supporting coffered soffit, and reached up terrazzo steps. Ground-floor shopfronts obscured by grilles at time of survey. Original paired double doors with fleche motif to toplight glazing above; paybox to right upon entry. The coffering extends into this lower foyer.
Foyer on two levels served by staircase with terrazzo treds and elaborate moderne steel balustrade in two colours with timber handrail that continues with curve to upper gallery. Paired timber doors with chrome handles to auditoria.
The original auditorium is now subdivided, but the circle and front stalls survive as a single space, with the screen served by the original projection portalls. Segmental arched roof with fibrous plaster art deco motifs and banding. Historic octagonal lightfittings to ceiling, and wall sconces; originally there was concealed decoration in the ceiling. Moulding along side wall continuous round proscenium end. Broad, fluted proscenium. Ventilation grilles to either side in architrave surrounds with sunburst top. Fluting and art deco moulding to balcony front. No fly tower. The area under the balcony, always the simplest part of any cinema decoration not seen.
Hurley Robinson was a significant West Midlands-based architect who designed a number of public buildings in a synthesis of classical and moderne styles that was advanced for 1932. As the opening brochure for the Regal notes, 'the quiet dignity and solid appearanc of the theatre must appeal to devotees of almost every type of architecture. While modern tendencis are revealed, there is nothing about the exterior elevation which could be termed ultra-modern or in any way offensive to the eye of the critic.' Robinson had designed over 55 cinemas before the Regal, but this is a rare survival and the most architecturally significant. The Regal was built as an independent cinema and survives remarkably little altered.
Listing NGR: SP0420943620
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.