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Regent Cinema

A Grade II Listed Building in Lyme Regis, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.7248 / 50°43'29"N

Longitude: -2.9365 / 2°56'11"W

OS Eastings: 333992

OS Northings: 92106

OS Grid: SY339921

Mapcode National: GBR PJ.CYLG

Mapcode Global: FRA 47Q5.CSQ

Plus Code: 9C2VP3F7+W9

Entry Name: Regent Cinema

Listing Date: 5 October 2000

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1385093

English Heritage Legacy ID: 485554

Location: Lyme Regis, Dorset, DT7

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Lyme Regis

Built-Up Area: Lyme Regis

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Lyme Regis St Michael the Archangel

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Tagged with: Cinema

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864/3/10004 Regent Cinema


Cinema, built in 1937 for D W Hardy (Lyme Regis Cinema Co.), to the designs of William Henry Watkins (1878-1964). Rendered brick. Stadium plan behind spacious foyer and shop.

EXTERIOR: Rendered facade in subdued classical style, set back from the line of adjacent buildings to form a forecourt. Entrance to the cinema ranged right with three sets of glazed double doors with original horizontal glazing bars. Double-fronted shop unit to the left. Symmetrical upper storey with central section breaking forward and rising above flanking lower sections, this central part having three round-headed windows separated by pilasters with Art Deco capitals. Small pane glazing in neo-Georgian style. Displayed above the windows is the name of the cinema - REGENT. `Pseudo-triglyphs' at attic level below cornice. Flanking sections with one vertical slit window either side. Auditorium roof rises above foyer fore-building.

INTERIOR: Spacious foyer leading to Art Deco style double-height stadium-type auditorium (one where there is no balcony but which has stepped seating rows at the rear). Entrance to the auditorium by way of two vomitories. Auditorium arranged as a series of bays dictated by the regularly spaced ceiling beams. The last bay cascades towards the proscenium in curved moulded plaster to reveal undulating vertical mouldings, probably originally designed to employ the `Brenograph' system of colour-change lighting. Dado enlivened by continuous horizontal plaster moulding and wave-like motif.

ANALYSIS: A little-altered example of a small town super-cinema of the 1930s. Watkins was an important Bristol-based cinema architect, most of whose surviving work is in the neo-classical style. The auditorium here is a rare example of his dexterity with more moderne idioms, and it is an unusual and convincing example of light architecture in a small cinema.

David Ewins, `W H Watkins, a Bristol architect', in Picture House, the journal of the Cinema Theatre Association, no.5, 1984, pp.22 and 29,

Listing NGR: SY3399292106

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