Following its rebirth after years as a snooker hall, The Regent Cinema is emerging as a hidden gem and has the potential to become Blackpool’s cinema for classic films for the future. The multiplex cinema with its shiny clean digital technology is all very well, but a town centre venue is more accessible to more people and contributes more to the town’s vitality (discuss). It is to be hoped that increasing numbers of locals and visitors find and enjoy The Regent’s retro-charms.
This was my first visit and to see one of my favourite films. With the stalls dedicated to an antique, retro, vintage and craft emporium, I found myself climbing a marble staircase decorated with memorabilia, to enter the steeply terraced dress circle. The seats are plush red and equipped with handy side-tables for drinks and snacks. The big screen hangs invitingly. A licensed bar is available to the rear that also sells tea.
The auditorium filled up fast with a wide age-range of people, to the extent that I soon felt guilty at having plonked myself at a row end thus blocking off the rest of it. The show was complete with trailers for the coming shows and ads, including plenty for the building’s other attractions. With a big mug of tea by my side, the lights dimmed and I was carried back to a previous cinema age.
Having said Pulp Fiction is one of my favourite films, I was surprised how much I had forgotten and how things seemed to be in a different order at times. The film’s split time structure, whereby it circles around back to its starting point, is one of its great attractions. With a cast including Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Tim Roth, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Rosanna Arquette, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Quentin Tarantino himself and many many others, what’s to go wrong? Maybe not the greatest print of this film, but this and the venue added to the authenticity and I would much prefer to see it in this way in the future.
The sound does need a little more work: the stereo was out of balance and some of the dialogue was difficult to catch, especially as this is quite a mumbly film. The characters philosophise about burgers and other random stuff, before and after wasting people with their 9mm pistols. A chat at the end revealed that the sound issue is recognised and things will be improving. I worked for my college film society and this was always a nightmare, even with a mixing desk and PA amplifier.
Now I’ve got down to Blackpool’s cinema for one film, I intend to be there for many more. Tickets can be booked in advance through the website. Upcoming presentations are:
- 4th August – Alien – 19:30
- 11th August – The Day the Earth Stood Still – 19:30
- 12th August – Grease – singalong – 18:45
- 18th August – Signs – 19:30
- 25th August – The Terminator – 19:30
- 31st October – Halloween Spooktacular, including Paranormal Activity – 20:00
Situated on the corner of Church Street and Regent Road, Blackpool’s cinema is well situated for bus and there is ample car parking near by.
Images courtesy of CJ Griffiths Photography
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