Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Dorset (Unitary Authority)
Lyme Regis
National Grid Reference:
SY 33992 92106



SY3392 BROAD STREET 864/3/10004 Regent Cinema 05-OCT-00


Cinema, built in 1937 for D W Hardy (Lyme Regis Cinema Co.), to the designs of William Henry Watkins (1878-1964). Rendered brick. Stadium plan behind spacious foyer and shop.

EXTERIOR: Rendered facade in subdued classical style, set back from the line of adjacent buildings to form a forecourt. Entrance to the cinema ranged right with three sets of glazed double doors with original horizontal glazing bars. Double-fronted shop unit to the left. Symmetrical upper storey with central section breaking forward and rising above flanking lower sections, this central part having three round-headed windows separated by pilasters with Art Deco capitals. Small pane glazing in neo-Georgian style. Displayed above the windows is the name of the cinema - REGENT. `Pseudo-triglyphs' at attic level below cornice. Flanking sections with one vertical slit window either side. Auditorium roof rises above foyer fore-building.

INTERIOR: Spacious foyer leading to Art Deco style double-height stadium-type auditorium (one where there is no balcony but which has stepped seating rows at the rear). Entrance to the auditorium by way of two vomitories. Auditorium arranged as a series of bays dictated by the regularly spaced ceiling beams. The last bay cascades towards the proscenium in curved moulded plaster to reveal undulating vertical mouldings, probably originally designed to employ the `Brenograph' system of colour-change lighting. Dado enlivened by continuous horizontal plaster moulding and wave-like motif.

ANALYSIS: A little-altered example of a small town super-cinema of the 1930s. Watkins was an important Bristol-based cinema architect, most of whose surviving work is in the neo-classical style. The auditorium here is a rare example of his dexterity with more moderne idioms, and it is an unusual and convincing example of light architecture in a small cinema.

SOURCES: David Ewins, `W H Watkins, a Bristol architect', in Picture House, the journal of the Cinema Theatre Association, no.5, 1984, pp.22 and 29,

Listing NGR: SY3399292106


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Ewins, D, 'Picture House' in 5, (1984), 22, 29


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 18 Sep 2007
Reference: IOE01/16060/02
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Steve Beck. Source Historic England Archive
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