Regal Cinema

44-48 High Street,
Whitstable, CT5 1BQ

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Additional Info

Architects: Frank Ernest Bromige

Functions: Supermarket

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Picturehouse, Argosy Cinema

Nearby Theaters

Regal Cinema

Opened on 26th February 1913 as the Picturehouse on Whitstable High Street, it was designed by architect Edwin Pover. The building had previously been Church & Co. furniture store. It was a reverse cinema, with the screen located at the entrance end on High Street.

In 1937 it was rebuilt and enlarged to the plans of architect Frank Ernest Bromige and now contained 1,000 seats, re-opening as the Argosy Cinema. It was given an Art Deco style frontage (in response to competition from the nearby Oxford Cinema). In later-1950 it was remodeled and re-named the Regal Cinema.

The Regal Cinema was closed on 17th September 1960 with Robert Mitcham in “The Wonderful Country”. The interior was gutted and it was converted into Whitstable’s first supermarket, which was operated by Finefare. At this time the Art Deco style frontage was simplified in to a very plain 1960’s design with large central windows sadly replacing the curved Art Deco. For a while, a Chinese restaurant operated in the circle foyer.

By 2009 it was a supermarket operated by Budgens. In 2015 it became a Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Contributed by Woody

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Buffer on February 9, 2014 at 8:40 am

The present manager (2014) Binny Amin is interested in the building’s history and appealed for old photos and reminiscences. The Whitstable Times pictured him sitting in the recognisably cinematic stock room.

Dion on February 14, 2015 at 12:11 am

The Projected Picture Trust have in their collection the two Zeis projectors that were installed in the cinema. Dion

Buffer on November 8, 2015 at 7:22 am

In 2015 Sainsbury is converting the former cinema into a store after Budgens closed

Buffer on May 28, 2016 at 12:57 am

The Royal Mail were to use Budgens as a Post Office but have not moved into Sainsburys. Instead they are looking at a local church.(May 2016)

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