Dorset

Lyme Regis Regent Cinema to be 'rebuilt to former glory'

Lyme Regis cinema fire Image copyright Becca Overton
Image caption Black smoke from the blaze could be seen for miles

The owners of a 1930s Art Deco cinema wrecked by fire have vowed to rebuild it to its former glory.

The roof of the Grade II listed Regent Cinema in Lyme Regis, Dorset, collapsed when the building was engulfed by the blaze on Tuesday afternoon.

Early indications suggested the fire began in a faulty light fitting, Dorset Fire and Rescue said.

Emergency crews remained at the site overnight and left at 05:30 GMT on Wednesday.

Owner Scott Cinemas said: "We are fully confident that this loss of the cinema facility will be temporary, and that the Regent will be rebuilt to its former glory.

"As a listed building, it was insured with this requirement in mind."

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Media captionRob Swain captured the moment a wall collapsed on the roof of the building
Image copyright Paul Starck
Image caption There was extensive damage to the inside of the cinema after the fire

A statement from the company said it was saddened by the loss of the building, which had recently been refurbished.

It added: "We also apologise for the disruption to the town that this event caused, but thank the townsfolk for the overwhelming and touching messages of support we have received."

Eight crews from three counties worked to prevent the flames spreading to adjoining buildings.

A cordon was put in place and neighbouring businesses were closed for the afternoon.

Image copyright Jess Douglas
Image caption People with breathing problems were warned to close their windows
Image copyright @dorsethouselyme
Image caption Shops and business in the area had to close

History of the Regent

  • The Regent was opened in 1937 by a local cinema operator Donald Hardy, who ran it until the early 1970s
  • The Art Deco building was designed by Bristol-based architect William Henry Watkins who designed several other cinemas in the South West of England, including the Forum in Bath
  • It is a Grade II listed building
  • Originally it had a "Hollophane" lighting system whereby motorised dimmers slowly changed and mixed red, blue and green lights, concealed in troughs
  • The cinema's original 35mm Phillips DP75 projector has been retained for special performances

Source: Scott Cinemas


Image copyright @alicebearshop
Image caption Crews were forced to fight the fire from the outside because the roof collapsed
Image caption A cordon remains in place around the building

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