Regent Cinema

Location and period of operation:

The Regent Piccadilly, Hanley 1929


Gaumont   1950 1976
Odeon   1976 1989


Originally opened in 1929 as a super cinema and able to seat 2000 people, its first presentation was a silent film, The Last Command. The foyer was luxuriously decorated in the fashionable Art Deco style, with similar splendour in the auditorium and its reputation grew for presenting Sunday concerts. The decor was opulent with a marble floor in the entrance hall and a grand stairway leading up to a cafe, with appropriately attired waiters and waitresses, on the 1st floor.

The Regent was the first cinema in the Potteries to screen talking pictures, showing The Singing Fool, featuring Al Jolson, in July 1929.

Mary Frost (born 1937, Norton-in-the-Moors) remembers trips to the Regent as a very special occasion:

"I can remember when I was a little girl we went to the Regent in Hanley. That was very posh, to go to the Regent in Hanley, because there was the Regent Cafe, so that was a real treat if you went there. I can remember at Christmas you always went to the Regent Cafe and then were taken to the Regent cinema. The cafe was upstairs, you went in the foyer, I seem to remember steps and then like a carriageway ... and of course you see there wasnít many cafes, when you think about it, there was nowhere to go like that ... You had your best things on if you were going there ... black-button shoes and I remember I had a red coat, years and years ago ... It was special to go there, that was a treat, you were taken as a treat."

Mary Frostís earliest memory of going to the cinema was being taken by her mother to the Regent when she was three, to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

In 1950 there was a name change to the Gaumont and the venue became part of the increasing touring pop concert circuit in the 60s and was extensively used for amateur operatic and musical comedy productions. It 1974 it was given a triple screen and renamed the Odeon Film Centre.
Two years later in 1989, following the opening of a six screen Odeon at the Festival Park, it closed.





Regent Cinema - location 1
Piccadilly, Hanley
From 1947 Pottery Gazette


(See sources)


Questions / comments / contributions? email: Steve Birks