The Regal, Parkstone

The cinema was opened on 19th September 1935 and was built on the site of the Victory Hall which was closed and demolished to make way for the Regal.

Victory Hall at the junction of Jubilee Road and Ashley Road

Closure came in 1935… both of the films featured were released in 1932. 'Tenderfoot' contained an early appearance by Ginger Rogers. If the Victory Palace closed in February 1935 and the new Regal opened on the 19th September of the same year the builders certainly got a move on.

The cinema ultimately came under the control of Councillor Geoffrey Bravery's Capital and Counties Theatres which also owned the Regent in Poole town centre and the Electric Theatre Commercial Road Bournemouth, amongst others. They shared an advertisement for many years in the Bournemouth Evening Echo.

The Regal was the first of this trio to close with the Electric following in 1965. The Regent which closed as a cinema in 1968 was converted to bingo and survived until 1977.

We think that the original projectors installed at the Regal were Kalee 11's which would explain the Kalee stands in the following pictures. They were replaced with Ross machines probably on the original Western Electric 3A sound heads.

Ross projectors with W.E. mag. heads

The Ross projectors were themselves replaced in the 1950's with Westar picture heads. Nothing else was changed. Lamp houses, spool boxes, sound heads and Kalee stands were all retained.

Westar picture head

The end came on the 12th October 1963 by which time the Regal was pretty run down with poor programming seemingly based on cheapness to rent. The last film, however, was 'Come Blow Your Horn' starring Frank Sinatra, based on the Neil Simon Broadway show. A 1963 release so an up to date film to bow out on. To be fair cinema attendances were declining year on year and there was very little that could be done to make a cinema like the Regal profitable especially with the lack of product, due to barring. These High Street cinemas were not only losing money but stood on valuable sites. It's just a pity that what replaced the Regal was and remains one of the very worst types of redevelopment.

All text and pictures in this article copyright John Thornley, Bob Dobson and others where credited.

Bournemouth Cinemas

The Continental Cinema, Winton

The Picture House/Savoy, Boscombe

The Ritz Cinema, Winton

The Astoria, Pokesdown

The Embassy/Palladium/ Classic, Fisherman's Walk, Southbourne

The Roxy, Holdenhurst Road, Springbourne

The Regal, Parkstone