This cinema was built on the west side of Above Bar Street in 1934, on the site of the old Philharmonic Hall and Scullards Hotel, both of which were demolished to make way for the new cinema. The Regal was a large cinema, having seating for 2000 in the stalls and 700 in the balcony, and also contained a restaurant. It was taken over by the Odeon chain in 1937 and became the Odeon in 1945.

In 1979 it was internally reconstructed to provide two auditoria, giving patrons a choice of viewing. The restaurant the last one to be operated by the Rank Organisation, was closed down during this reconstruction. To counter falling attendances in the 1970s and 1980s, the management tried other forms of entertainment including pop concerts and boxing, but with only limited success. The cinema was closed down and demolished in 1993.

Regal Cinema

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Regal Cinema. A view of Above Bar Street in the 1940s showing the Regal on the left.

Odeon (formerly Regal) Cinema

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Photograph, c.1980

Further reading:
Dream Palaces: Going to the Pictures in Southampton, by Bill White, p30-33. (HS/r)
Southampton Cinemas, by John C. Shepherd. (HS/r)


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