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Report - - Highams Park Regal, London - June 2017 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Highams Park Regal, London - June 2017



slayaaaa

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
Highams Regal

This report is more just to show that this isn't really worth bothering with, it's barley report worthy and if it needs deleting, I'll condense it down and add it into the "cinemas in need of exploration" thread. Anyway, I had high hopes for this place and checked it again and again for about 18 months. Regardless, here's a couple pics, a bit of history and a small write up. Sorry to disappoint! Explored with MockneyReject and Sarah.

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History

Located close to Higham’s Park Railway Station on the Chingford line in North-East London. The Higham’s Park Electric Theatre opened on 1st April 1911. It was designed by architect W.A. Lewis and had a seating capacity of 550. It was re-named Regal Cinema in 1928 and improvements were made to the building in 1933.

In 1935, it was partly rebuilt to the plans of architectural firm Howes & Jackman. It received a new modern Art Deco style facade and entrance foyer. A cafe was added in the circle foyer and a Rutt 3Manual/6Ranks organ was installed in the modernised and enlarged auditorium, which now seated 615. The Regal Cinema re-opened on 23rd September 1935 with Irene Dunne in "Sweet Adeline" and W.C. Fields in "It’s A Gift".

Always independently operated, the Regal Cinema was closed on 11th September 1963 with Frank Sinatra in "Some Came Running" and John Bentley in "Escape in the Sun". It was converted into an independent bingo club, but this was no too successful, and films returned on several nights a week, beginning on 23rd February 1964 with Norman Wisdom in "A Stitch In Time". By April 1964, bingo had been dropped and full time cinema use resumed. The Regal Cinema finally closed on 27th April 1971 with Paul Newman in "Exodus".

It became a bingo club again, this time using only the circle seating area. The stalls area was used as a snooker hall. Later, the bingo operation ceased and Regals London Snooker Club continues today in the auditorium, while a bar operates from the former foyer. The Rutt organ is now housed in the St Albans Organ Theatre, St Albans, Hertfordshire, where it is played on a regular basis.

In August 2014 the owners of the building (a security firm) proposed plans to convert the building into their head office. However, in March 2015 they decided it was too small, and proposals were made to convert the building into a 50-seat cinema. By May 2016 nothing more had been heard of this proposal.

Further reading and few pictures: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/30181


Pictures

Couple pictures showing the butchered old cinema, a few pool tables and a lot of disappointment.

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And this is as god as it got unfortunately

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A small reminder

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Just goes to show that there are more hiding in London, we check those we know of regularly and it was good to finally see inside this one, just a shame it was nothing like it could have been! Where the projector room should have been was all concreted up madly enough and the windows in the front you see actually have walls behind them, a poor job at converting this old building. Hopefully it has a future but by the looks of it the only salvageable part is the facade.

Thanks for looking!
 

mockney reject

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#2
Pics came out better than mine. Was gutted about this after all the time we spent checking it lol

Win some you lose some I guess
 

Speed

Got Epic?
Staff member
Moderator
#3
Shame you didn't find more but are you sure you actually got I'm the whole place? It should have a bingo club in the circle? Looks like you were just in the stalls where the snooker club was and the lobby which was a bar I think?
 

Noiseboy1212

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#4
Hi Guys pictures are of the downstairs snooker hall only, the upstairs circle (second screen) were converted into a nightclub in 1995 and ran until 2008 when the club owner was shut down for varying issues.
The upstairs is locked up tight as a drum and access is only available through side Fire Exit (same side as snooker club entrance) or via the side door to the left of the downstairs boarded up bar at the front.
Upstairs still resembles a cinema in places, the projection box is now the club Bar and the proscenium arch is the DJ Box, we fitted out the club back in 2005 and may have some pics to scan and upload.
 

slayaaaa

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#5
Shame you didn't find more but are you sure you actually got I'm the whole place? It should have a bingo club in the circle? Looks like you were just in the stalls where the snooker club was and the lobby which was a bar I think?
If there's really a bingo hall up there then i have no idea how they fit it in there, it's tiny. Plus how anyone ever gets up there, i do not know, the building has been chopped about a fair bit and doesnt seem to have stairs, a fire exit, or even a front door. Maybe I'm missing somethig obvious :D but we really couldnt find anything.
I'll have another look online, see if I can find anything but we spent far too long trying to work it out and gave up annoyingly.
 

Speed

Got Epic?
Staff member
Moderator
#6
You might be right. I'm just wondering if the two were totally separate or if it was simply gutted to a shell before its last incarnation.
 

Noiseboy1212

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#7
Two buildings in one Down stairs Rear is old snooker hall and front and upstairs is the old bingo/hall nightclub, access to upstairs is via front of side fire exit, like i said in last post this building is secured by the security company that own the building now, might be worth an ask for a permission visit it would be well worth it as very intresting features upstairs, Cinema/Bingo/Nightclub.
I will find some pic's from the 90's to post.
 

mockney reject

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#8
@Noiseboy1212

You sure the upstairs is still there?

When we poked our heads up through the false ceiling you could see right to the roof and see where the old screen was. There was a false wooden wall that appeared to only be a few feet from the front of the building.

We thought it odd at the time that there wasn't more.
 

Noiseboy1212

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#9
100% the bingo club/Nightclub was built on the upper circle of the cinema, what you have seen is the roof from the stalls area.
to be fair its not massive upstairs.
 
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