Futurist (Regent Cinema)

(11 of 18)

3 Scotland Road, Warrington, WA1 2AF.

Opened Jan 1921. Closed 1958. Demolished 1980s.

1 screen. 543 seats.

Located next to the Prince of Wales hotel, the Theatre Royal was opened on 21 December 1818. It was in use as a Mechanics Institute from 1836 to 1846. It was also known as the Regent Old Time Music Hall for a time. No dates are available to me for when it was the music hall. It was known to locals as The Blood Tub,apparently because of the macabre shows that were sometimes staged there.

In 1872 it was re-named the Price of Wales Theatre and was enlarged in 1883. Around 1900 it became the Royal Theatre of Varieties, and Charlie Chaplin appeared on the stage. On 9 December 1907 “animated pictures” were shown when it was still known as the Royal Theatre of Varieties. The proscenium was 18 feet wide, and on top of it were statues of two male figures. The front of the circle was decorated with plaster cherubs.

On 3 January 1921 it was opened as the Futurist Cinema. The projection box and manager’s office were located in the adjacent Prince of Wales hotel.

In late 1939 it was taken over by the Southan Morris chain and became part of their S.M. Super Cinemas chain and re-named the Regent Cinema. It was closed suddenly on 28 September 1958.

The building was converted into the Tudor Bingo Club, which remained open until the late 1980s. Later demolished, the site today is used for car parking, but a fraction of the left hand side of the façade remains attached to the Prince of Wales hotel.

Contributed by Ken Roe. Additional information by Gordon Gandy.  Many thanks to Peter Spilsbury for use of his photo.