The Regent can reign again

An open day organised by the Friends of the Regent Cinema proved to be popular.

An open day organised by the Friends of the Regent Cinema proved to be popular.

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It was built in 1921 – and now a group of enthusiasts want to make the derelict Regent Cinema fit for purpose in the 21st century.

They have formed a Friends Group and launched their campaign, which they have dubbed ‘21 meets 21st’, with two open days last weekend.

Regent Cinema

Regent Cinema

Now they hope to secure grants to restore the historic building on Church Street, Blackpool, to its former glory.

The building’s owner Richard Taylor has given the group the go ahead to take over the reigns of the ambitious project.

Businessman Stephen Brennan, one of three trustees of the group which is seeking charitable status, said: “We were disappointed we could not save the Syndicate building but we believe we can save this one.

“Architects have said it could cost up to £1.5m but our dream is to restore the building as a working cinema to show niche films, and to make it a multi-purpose arts centre.

“We also want to get it listed, and we will approach the Lottery Fund and Arts Council for grants.”

Mr Taylor, who bought the building after it was auctioned with a guide price of £70,000 earlier this year, said: “I had plans to convert the Regent to an antiques centre but I will look for other premises for that.

“I think handing it over to the Friends Group is the best way forward, and they intend to restore the cinema to its former glory.”

People can find out more about the Friends Group through Facebook group The Regent Cinema Blackpool.

Mr Brennan added: “We’re hoping for lots of support.”

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE GAZETTE’S PETITION FOR A DIRECT RAIL LINK BETWEEN BLACKPOOL AND LONDON.