Regent Cinema

54-62 Dean Road,
South Shields, NE33 4DZ

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Thompson's Enterprises Ltd.

Architects: John Cecil Clavering, Joseph H. Morton

Firms: Joseph H. Morton & Son

Styles: Neo-Classical

Nearby Theaters

South Shields Regent in use for bingo

Located in the Westhoe district to the south of the city centre. The Regent Cinema was opened on 21st October 1935 with Leslie Howard in "The Scarlet Pimpernel" & “Lionel Barrymore in "David Copperfield”. Described as ‘South Shields’ Super Luxury Cinema', it was built for and operated by the independent chain Thompson’s Enterprises Ltd. of Middlesbrough. It was designed in a Neo-Classical style by architect John Cecil Clavering of architectural firm J.H. Morton & Son.

The Regent Cinema had a fully equipped stage, with fly tower, which was put to good use over the years. It was closed on 15th July 1966 with Cliff Richard in “Summer Holiday”. It was immediately converted into a Mecca Bingo Club, which closed on 14th September 2014.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 19, 2010 at 9:32 am

A night view of the former Regent Cinema in August 1997:
View link

TLSLOEWS on May 19, 2010 at 10:45 am

Thanks for the photo Ken Roe.

geordielad on December 11, 2013 at 3:51 am

Go in every Tuesday for bingo.they have disconnected alllights in circle.and not doing any maintenance.leak in roof if not fixed dampness in circle walls and timer mailed to ceiling to stop ceiling collapsing greedy when they make good Profit but let old clubs which made them rich die

geordielad on December 11, 2013 at 3:52 am

Timber nailed to ceiling oops

ArtDirector on April 18, 2014 at 5:33 am

This was the last cinema built in South Shields before WWII. Unlike most UK cinemas it had a box-office that opened directly onto the pavement between the main entrance doors. It also had an unusual diamond-shaped auditorium. It was regularly used by the local operatic society as a theatre until the bingo management made alterations that made further theatrical use impossible. It used to have split weeks with two different programmes each week. The house lights were not on a dimmer. There were two sets of neon tubes in the ceiling, one red and one white. When the performance was due to start the white lights went out followed by the red ones. The red ones came on at the end of the performance followed by the white ones. It looked very slick. It was a very pleasant venue in which to watch a film programme.

geordielad on September 2, 2014 at 3:00 am

It closes on Sept 14 2014

terry on June 16, 2016 at 2:30 pm

1964 photo uploaded of this, the largest of South Shields' cinemas, showing ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire’ in 1964

terry on April 18, 2020 at 6:25 am

Article re petition to save the building which the Local Authority wish to demolish :–

terry on April 18, 2020 at 6:28 am

This was the largest cinema in South Shields followed by the ABC, Odeon and Gaumont in that order. There were/are full stage facilities at the Regent.

terry on April 19, 2020 at 2:45 pm

Photos of the abandoned and decaying interior attached. It can clearly be seen why South Shields Amateur Operatic Society could no longer present their annual productions on the capacious stage following the 1981 modifications.

I remember speaking to the then Manager of the Mecca Bingo when the very last stage presentation, ‘Camelot' was staged on the Saturday evening. He had been Manager there when it was still Thompsons’ Regent cinema in 1966 and, to my dismay, he told me that he was glad to see the stage shows go and for Bingo to reign for 52 weeks of the year instead of for a mere 51….

I, personally, would have been glad to see the back of the ‘Bingo Brigade’ for a week.

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