Regal Cinema: Fordingbridge cinema screens first film for 52 years

Regal Cinema: Fordingbridge cinema screens first film for 52 years

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‘Casablanca’ will be the first film screened at the cinema since 1965

An art deco cinema is due to reopen to the public for the first time in 52 years.

The Regal Cinema in Fordingbridge, Hampshire operated from 1933 until its closure in 1965.

Electronics firm Corintech reduced the 290-seat auditorium to 30 seats, converting the rest of the building into flats for its employees.

‘Casablanca’ will be the first film screened on Friday at 18:30 BST.

New Forest District Council said it welcomed the re-use of a property which was in “poor condition” after lying vacant for four years.

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Regal Cinema

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The auditorium has been reduced from 290 seats to 30

Approving the cinema application in September, the authority said some jobs would be retained on the site, which was previously occupied by the firm Branksome China until 2012.

Corintech chairman Brian Currie said £1.5m project had “stirred up latent desire” for a cinema in Fordingbridge.

He said the art deco building had been sympathetically restored, with a foyer close to the original 1930s design.

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Regal Cinema

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New Forest District Council said the building had deteriorated after lying vacant for four years

The cinema’s operators, Fordingbridge Regal Cinema Club said they will show “a variety of classic, modern and recent films from a range of genres.”

Corintech had told the council it needed the eight studio flats to allow it to recruit engineers in an area where accommodation costs were high.