The HistoryThe Regal, opened in 1931, was designed in Spanish style by the cinema architect Cecil Massey, and was the headquarters of Ager's Cinema Circuit Ltd. In 1937 it was owned by the County circuit, in which Oscar Deutsch, who had opened the chain of Odeon theatres, had a controlling interest, and in 1938 it was acquired and renamed the Odeon. The building was extensively remodelled in 1964; 10 years later the interior was completely reconstructed to provide three screens, and it became the Odeon film centre; a fourth screen was added in 1987 and two more in 1991 when alterations to the building gave a 30 per cent increase in seating capacity. In 1992 the Odeon was the only cinema in Colchester.
The old Odeon cinema was formerly the Regal cinema. It was designed by Cecil Masey, a well-known cinema architect, and built in 1931. It has a Spanish-style gabled front and originally had an 'atmospheric' interior and included a cafe, Wurlitzer organ, and full stage facilities, with flanking shops on the ground-foor frontage. Live performances were presented at the Regal/Odeon as well as films - for example, on the 8th September 1964, the Rolling Stones played two concerts here! The interior was subdivided in 1974 and the cinema closed in 2002. Now empty, the building was put up for sale in March 2012.
The ExploreUnlike our previous explores, this one was actually planned. After seeing a few photos of this place I was desperate to take a look for myself. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, we packed our gear and headed to Colchester. I was anticipating a great explore and I wasn't disappointed at all, this site was grand and despite all the pigeons, had a nice atmosphere.
So, into the unknown.
Now onto the upstairs, which got even better.
Waiting for a killer clown to come out of the darkness to claim his shoe back!
One of the many pigeons that call this place home.
Thanks for viewing, hope you've all enjoyed my report!