Monday, February 26, 2007

The Regent

The Regent Theatre complex is a cinema treasure located at 167 Queen Street. Opened in 1929, the theatre is characteristic of a 1920s picture palace, and was one of only four Hoyts Picture Palaces constructed in Australia at the time. Originally it was erected for use as a theatre and cinema. The Regent was designed by Melbourne architect, Charles N. Hollinshed, with assistance from the Brisbane-based Richard Gailey Junior and Aaron Bolot. In the mid 1970s Hoyts planned the demolition of the Regent. A "Save the Regent" campaign was launched and a compromise was reached whereby the foyer and the marble staircase were retained. The new four cinema complex opened on 2 August 1980.

The photos I've added here do not do the cinema true justice, and I'd recommend you visit in person, or have a look at the Cinema Tours website for some much higher quality images. Another excellent site shows the history of the original theatre organ used at the theatre. The narrow black marble entrance hall has a decorated barrel-vaulted ceiling, friezes and stunning mural. The foyer is reminiscent of a medieval chapel. As you head up to the cinemas you get to traverse an immense white Queensland marble staircase which leads up to the mezzanine foyer.

I have to say that I love going to the movies. I'd much rather that than sit at home and watch a DVD. I prefer to sit in a cinema watching the big screen and feeling that sense of audience participation all around. Whilst the original cinema's here are no longer, the upgrades to the cinemas have given a whole modern aspect to what remains one of the best movie centres in Brisbane. Its no wonder that the Brisbane International Film Festival continues to do the majority of its screenings here!

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

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Little Miss Moi said...

dear wes. Wow that brought back memories. My boyfriend and I (now Mr Moi) used to go to the Regent every Friday evening to sit in the cafe and enjoy the lovely coffee and turkish delight.

Jodi said...

oh that is awesome. I love old places like that. we use to have some old theaters like that locally but they have been turned into office buildings which I think is just so very sad.