Behind the Art Deco facade of the Regent was once a grand ironwork and glass Pavilion, built to house regular performances by military bands, which the Edwardian holidaymakers loved. The Lord Warden of the Cinque ports, Lord Beauchamp, officially opened the Pavilion Theatre on Deal’s seafront in 1928.
For more on the history of the Regent, click here.
'There are four excellent Cinemas showing up-to-date Talking Pictures,
the programmes changing twice weekly. Frequently films are shewn
here before they are generally released.' 1938 Guide to Deal
The Cinema & Bingo Hall
Deal Council was not commercially successful in running the Pavilion and in 1933 it was leased to two local business men, Jack Boyer & Harry Carey. With the help of architect Percy Levett, In six weeks and costing £7000 it was transformed into the Regent Cinema.
The Regent Cinema opened for business on 9th June 1933 with a seating capacity of 911. Until the Odeon was built three years later it was the largest cinema in Deal. Despite being next to the sea, business continued as normal throughout the war, apart from days when the enemy made it impossible to continue. During the war a powerful searchlight was placed on the roof with the power being supplied by a Lister generator installed by the Time Ball Tower.
In the mid-1940s the Regent was taken over by ASER Cinemas but as attendances fell in the 1950s, and despite an injection of X-rated films, the Regent Cinema closed in 1963 and later became a bingo hall.
Extract from “Picture Palaces remembered” by John Roy & Tony Thompson