Regent Cinema

Film Hub Wales Non-Member

The Regent Cinema is housed within The Regent Centre in the town-centre of Newtown. The building was previously The Flannel Exchange and was an integral part of the local flannel industry. It was built in 1830 – 1832 at the instigation of William Pugh of Kerry and other manufacturers in an attempt to capture the flannel market from neighbouring Welshpool.

The grandest building in the town, it has paired Doric pilasters on a plinth with a screen of later pillars. When not in use for the sale of flannel it became The Public Rooms. It was used for concerts, exhibitions, auctions, lectures, conferences and bazaars, also the Quarter Sessions and Summer Assizes. During a typical year, 1881, it hosted a concert by the united Choral Society, Signor Bosco, “the only Conjuror and Ventriloquist in the world” performed and Dr. Kirton gave a lecture on “An Evening with the Water Drinkers of the Bible”.

By 1890 the front part of the building had become the Post Office. Occasional films had been shown in the Public Rooms from before the turn of the century, but in 1920 it became the Scala Cinema.

When the Post Office moved to its new premises in Short Bridge Street in 1937 the entire building was remodelled in Art Deco style to become the Regent Cinema.