As a grand old lady of 84 years of age, nobody would begrudge The Regent Centre in Christchurch of having a little TLC lavished on it from time to time.
Currently the cinema, theatre and arts centre that has faithfully served the entertainment needs of Christchurch and the surrounding area since it opened on Boxing Day 1931, is undergoing an exciting rolling programme of redecoration, repairs and refurbishment.
Regent patrons will have noticed a number of improvements in the Centre’s iconic Art Deco auditorium, including the addition of an extra 38 seats, bringing the Regent’s seating capacity up to 484. 28 of the extra seats are in the circle, where the sound desk was originally sited. There are also four extra wheelchair bays in the stalls. This extra seating capacity has been achieved by re-siting the sound and lighting desks in to their own dedicated booths in the stalls area. In addition, all of the remaining original seats have been upgraded with higher density foam inserts for greater comfort during shows.
The Regent has also installed a full set of new LED house lights in the Auditorium. These are much brighter and have been programmed to work together with the digital cinema to brighten and dim automatically before and after each film presentation.
The Regent’s famous Proscenium Arch has also had a makeover with the enhanced house lights and a brand new pelmet and set of stage curtains in rich red velvet. These were actually made by the same company that created the stage curtains for the latest Muppets movie.
Regent regulars for morning coffee and afternoon tea in the foyer, will have noticed the new white painted walls with blue trimmed skirting boards, doors and radiators. New digital TV style poster boards adorn the walls with up to the moment information on upcoming films and shows.
2015 promises to be an exciting year of improvements at the Regent. A brand new circle bar and lounge area is currently being created in the Spreadbury Suite, situated on the mezzanine area between the foyer and the circle. This will be a welcome addition for the New Year and will ease the queues at the existing foyer bar.
Plans are also being drawn up to refurbish the Regent toilets. In the case of the ladies’ cloakroom off the foyer, this will include enlarging the area to enable the installation of larger cubicles.