New vision for historic town centre landmark

Richard Taylor inside the former Riley's Snooker Hall and Regent Cinema.

Richard Taylor inside the former Riley's Snooker Hall and Regent Cinema.

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A BLACKPOOL businessman has outlined his vision for a landmark building in danger of becoming an eyesore.

Richard Taylor has revealed that the former Regent Cinema, which latterly operated as the Riley’s snooker hall, could be set to a return to the silver screen.

Inside the former Riley's Snooker Hall and Regent Cinema.

Inside the former Riley's Snooker Hall and Regent Cinema.

The boss of Blackpool-based TFS Training. which bought the distinctive white tiled Church Street building at auction, said his dream is to restore the cinema upstairs and have it up and running showing films by the end of the year.

He said the first stage of the restoration would see the ground floor be given over to a crafts, arts and antiques emporium and tea rooms.

He said: “We are looking at the sort of arts and crafts you can only get at fairs at the moment. It would be good for creative people and those starting out in business in Blackpool to have somewhere to sell their bespoke products.”

He said once that was running he would be looking to tackle the first floor taking out the false ceilings, restoring the cinema seating that is still in place and installing a new screen and projector system.

He said: “There is obviously going to be a lot of hard work involved, but it might not be as major a job as it seems as most of the infrastructure is still in situ.

“We will be pulling out everything Riley’s put in and restoring it to how it was when it was a cinema in the 1970s.

“For example in the foyer are there is a lovely arch which could be a feature again. It is all there it just needs uncovering.”

He said he hadn’t planned to buy the building but when he went in for a viewing he fell in love with it.

“There’s so much character. It is a prominent building, part of the town’s entertainment history and people keep coming in to ask what I am going to do with it.”

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