197 Keira Street,
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Architects: Reginald John Magoffin
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Located in the coastal town of Wollongong, south of Sydney. The Regent Theatre was first planned in 1935, but after considerable delay, followed by World War II and further delays, construction didn’t begin until February 1950. Even then work on the building was slow, and it eventually opened on 5th April 1957. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels. There are plaster mouldings on each of the side-walls which depict mythological scenes. The trough surrounding the proscenium originally contained concealed lighting. The ceiling has a criss-cross of lights representing a starry sky (although this is not an Atmospheric style theatre). There is a fully equipped stage which is 45 feet wide and 16 feet deep, and several dressing rooms. It is one of the few remaining historic buildings in the city.
It was equipped with 70mm projection in October 1967, when “My Fair Lady” was screened in the Todd-AO process.
In 2002, the 1,630-seat Regent Theatre was being threatened with demolition by Lend Lease, a local "speculator" and developer who proposed razing the opulent theater and erecting a supermarket and commercial complex in its place. The opulent movie house is also a beloved local treasure and residents banded together to fight the proposed devlopment.
The National Trust immediately swung into action by preparing a statement of significance for the building, and giving the Regent Theatre an interim listing on its Register.
After closing as a cinema in January 2004, following the death of the owner, it was purchased by a church. By March 2010, the church had vacated the building and it was ‘For Sale’.
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