Regent Theatre

41 E. Third Street,
Dunkirk, NY 14048

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Drohen Theatre

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Regent Theatre

Originally opened in late-1910 as the Drohen Theatre in was closed on June 22, 1920. Reopened as the Regent Theatre on March 21, 1921 it was closed in October 1929 after a devastating fire.

The Regent Theatre was eventually re-built in its current form, reopening Thanksgiving 1942. It closed in 1992. In the 2010’s it was being used for storage, but was vacated in early-2017.

Contributed by Paul Somerfeldt

Recent comments (view all 76 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm

June 8 1951 has “HALF ANGEL” playing.Evening admission is 55 cents for Adults; Kids 16 cents always.

mcorsoro on May 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Does anyone know who owns the Regent now? or if there are any plans for it?

psomerf on May 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm

The last I heard it is owned by the guy who own Kettle & Keg and Walleye Willies, both Lake Shore Drive, East in Dunkirk. I saw someone working on the place last summer with a dumpster out front for a day.


psomerf on July 31, 2012 at 9:30 am

I believe I have found the clock from the Regent. Or something similar. It is in the Dunkirk Historical Museum, Washington Ave, on the main floor.

Patsy on September 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

psomerf: Did you recently most on FB about this clock? Would love to see it so must head to the museum on Washington Avenue.

Patsy on September 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Also recall the nearby Catholic Church owns the former Regent Theatre building and uses it for storage. I think the seats were removed many years ago though its closing in 1992 wasn’t that long ago.

Patsy on September 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm

The building looks to be in sound condition and would make a great cinema again for the area as the cinema near the I-90 interchange shouldn’t be the only choice! Would love to know who, presently, owns this building!

psomerf on February 8, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Patsy: I may have posted on facebook. The church no longer owns the building, it is owned by the owner of Kettle & Keg. As far as it becoming a cinema again, I’m doubtful that that will ever happen. Last I heard Payne was seeking to take the slope out of the floor.

When I ate at K & K, Payne was usually there for the lunch rush, then left by 2 or 3. But that has been at least 2 years since I ate there that early.

psomerf on February 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm

I have heard rumors of a new (how long ago it happened to justify being called “new”, I don’t know) owner, with at least some interest in showing movies again. But that is third hand information, so I can’t vouch for its veracity.

Gsmagacz on March 17, 2017 at 5:38 pm

The Regent theater, which had been used for storage, was recently cleaned out and sent to auction. March 14th I attended the RCS auction in Dunkirk on Lake Shore drive and purchased the Simplex theater speakers as well as the Kni-Tron rectifiers used to spark the ark lamps in the projectors. There were two cast iron projector bases with reel case, several bell shaped wall lamps and a few other items that also sold. Everything went cheap. I just resold the 1940’s era speaker cabinets to a collector in South Korea. I personally visited the theater many times all through my youth as well as the Capitol, Van Buran and Enterprise drive in’s, Cine 1 & 2 and the Jamestown cinema which is also gone. Saw many great movies in these places. Sad they’re all gone now.

I witnessed urban renewal which destroyed the tax base causing the remaining buildings to see their taxes sky rocket. High taxes are a business killer. Urban renewal also forced the carpenters unions of Jamestown and Dunkirk to combine in order to survive. I remember Ludlums toy store where my mother bought me my first Lego and then across the street to Kresge’s for ice cream and to pop the balloon for the discount. I happened to buy at auction a few years ago 8mm movies and Kodachrome slides of Dunkirk, the air show, the train wreck, parade, ice skating, etc. I remember all the mom and pop grocery stores and the good times at the point. Not much left of Dunkirk these days.

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