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Report - - The Regal (aka. Granada) Cinema - Kettering - March 2019 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - The Regal (aka. Granada) Cinema - Kettering - March 2019


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Thought id sort out a load of cinema photos to keep you entertained during lockdown. Heres one we did back in March last year, it was kind of a weird one with a bit of a story!

Quite a few of us had been talking about having a look at this particular theater as everyone was going to be over that way for a 28dl meet in a few weekends time. In the end @slayaaaa and a couple of others gave it an early recce and ended up finding their way in. I dont think they were quite expecting what they found tho! Il leave the exact story for them to tell but to cut a long story short it was chock full of weed plants AND several Chinese looking dudes tending to said weed plants. Upon realising their cover was blown these green fingered dudes fled leaving their weed and fish head supper behind.. The police ended up involved and the plants got removed but not much else happened. (Within a few months they were back in there growing again!)

Our chance came a couple of days later. I was worried that after the cops were involved it would get sealed up quick, presumably they had been told the way in at some point?! Maybe they had been sold a dummy as myself @dweeb and @clebby arriving late evening and after a bit of poking about the outside were fairly confident nothing had changed and more importantly no one was in there! We found our way in and had the building to ourselves for a few hours fish head soup and all.

What can i say about the actual building? Well it was pretty good, a nice clean original auditorium with bingoism, a decent projection room and a few interesting features dotted around. Cant say its the best cinema ive ever been in but it was a solid 7/10 Could have done with a bit more to see 'behind the scenes' for me!

cinematreasures said:
The Regal Cinema was built on the site of Goosey & Sons' drapery store in Kettering High Street and officially opened on 26th December(Boxing Day) 1936 by Earl Spencer (Princess Di’s father). It was built for and operated by the independent Regal (Kettering) Ltd. headed by Cohen & Rafer. The vast £70,000 super-cinema was designed by noted cinema architect George Coles, and had a unique frontage, dominated by a tower lit by a neon halo visible for miles around. Five pairs of entrance doors led into a large foyer with a pay desk on each side. There was a cafe for the convenience of patrons. The elegant air-conditioned ultra-modern auditorium had 1,748 seats, with 1,164 luxury seats – grey in the stalls and 578 blue seats in the circle. The proscenium is 42ft wide, the stage 50ft wide and 18ft deep with footlights and an orchestra pit. There are 4 dressing rooms. An elaborate frilly curtain with 59 different patterns filled the proscenium. The stage was used for popular Sunday night band shows with top names like Joe Loss, Jack Hylton, Henry Hall and Nat Gonella. Other stars included singers Anne Zeigler and Webster Booth, pianists Rawicz and Landau, the legendary Crazy Gang, Flanagan and Allan, and forces sweetheart Vera Lynn. One of the early films shown at the Regal Cinema was “Queen of Hearts” starring Gracie Fields, and the classic “Gone with the Wind”, which played for two weeks – unheard of in the provinces.

In July 1947 it was taken over by the Granada Theatres chain and was re-named Granada Theatre on 2nd January 1948. During the 1960’s it hosted many pop concerts, with stars such as Tommy Steel, The Who, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, and The Rolling Stones making appearances on the large stage. The Granada was closed as a cinema on 8th June 1974.

On 20th February 1975 it became a Granada Bingo Club. In May 1991 it became a Gala Bingo Club. The Gala Bingo Club closed on 7th June 2018 and the building has been purchased to become a banquet hall.

In June 2019 the police entered from the rear of what was thought to be a vacant building to find a huge cannabis factory operating in the building. Plants were said to be worth £ half a million
Auditorium

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Projection Room

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This was my favorite feature of the whole building, what a cupboard!! This would have originally been at the top of the stairs leading up to the circle bar area. Some partitions had been put in to make an office tho so it was just hidden away in the corner of a random room!

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Oldskool Granada TV advert

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Fish head soup

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Remains of the 'clear up'

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Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Nice shots, and story. What a surprise it must have been to those Chinese dudes lol. Bit like the story near me. Old probation offices, chock full, a large grow. Only found as an explorer was spotted climbed in a window I was told lol. Thanks for sharing these & keeping us entertained:thumb.
 

oldshep54

28DL Member
28DL Member
I was there as a junior Proj when it closed, Looking @ Proj box I see some of the old Equipment stiil there, if U check the floor the tiles on floor came from foyer when upgraded & ceiling lowered
The handles on left of Projector still have paint on that I did to colour code the floodlights, I still have brass fittings from old brass slide lantern, I was there when we had local Battle Of Britain
special showing for a 2 weeks, having film props Stukas/Spitfires hanging from chandilers & having pilots from that battle invited to the viewing, one was a Chief police officer in Kettering,
another was a badly face burnt pilot who lived nearby, I still have the special brochure from that event somewhere.
We also had live shows, One regular was The GUS footwear band formed from one of the old shoe factories, Do U remember The Bay City Rollers, it was packed out, the kids went made,
American singer Jack Jones played there, I met Susan George his then partner there, lovely lady also Roy Wood, a quiet gentleman.
When it closed I soon moved To Granada Rugby, then the Jerry Lewis/Brent Walker twin cinema in Corby, then moved from the box to management @ ended up back with Granada Slough, running then the busiest theatre in the group, after almost 20 years in business when Granada closed it I decided a change was needed, got out of the trade & moved to Jersey, got into retail.
Those 1st 20 years were brilliant & still keep in touch with some of the staff I have worked with. The icing on the cake 4 me was the year I left I was invited to attend the Royal Premier in Leicester Square Odeon in precence of the Queen Mother, the film was 84 Charing Cross, I again still have booklet from that night.
I hope the Kettering cine gets used properly again it is such a good site to B used right, not for growing drug plants.

All for now, Cinema Buff
Stuart
 

xexxa

Grey xexxa, yellow xexxa
Regular User
That cupboard has a bit of a pocock vibe going on
 

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