Regal Cinema Delabole

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Regal Cinema Closed. Photo Taken In The 1960s  Before The Show Starts
                                                                            Thanks to Mike Davey                  

Many people may not realise that a super small cinema with 230 seats, once existed at Atlantic Road, Delabole. Films were changed twice weekly back in the 1950s when I was the chief projectionist. We used to have an evening performance at 7.30pm and a matinee at 5pm on Saturdays. There was a children’s matinee on Saturday mornings and in the summer, if wet, we held an afternoon show.
My own early memories of ‘The Regal’ was in the 1940s and my mother and two sisters often walked from Tintagel to Delabole to ‘go to the pictures’. After the show we would often purchase some fish and chips from a small shop at the top of  Medrose Street.
During the time I was employed at the Regal the cinema would be busy most evenings and particularly on Wednesday and Friday nights when Fry’s Coaches arrived. There were also buses from Port Isaac and Camelford (Tags Hayne’s).
In 1952 I was a so called 'Rewind Boy’ at the Tower Cinema, Launceston and I applied for the Regal job after just 6 months.. Mr. Arthur Long, was the manager and I started employment at the princely wage of £4.10s per week for about 55 hours work.
In the projection box we had two excellent BTH Mark 1 projectors, which rarely gave any trouble. Part of my job entailed ‘spooling on and off’ the film which did not arrive on metal reels. Each join had to be inspected and a picture of ‘yours truly’ is shown rewinding a 35mm film. 
Admission prices were 9d, 1s.6d, and 2s.3d when I first arrived at the Regal. The most popular films I showed at the cinema were, A Queen Is Crowned, Genevieve, Doctor In The House and Knights of the Round Table, which was filmed at Tintagel.
My work also meant that I had to check the seating, car park, put up the large poster outside and even deliver and glue, all the small posters in every village!!. Oh and I also had to check the toilets!!!. And take bookings over the phone and etc., etc, etc!!
I loved the cinema work but decided to leave and in 1958 joined Bush Radio Ltd at Ernesettle in Plymouth. Ray Neilson, who used to have a shop in Tintagel in the war years, got me a job in the laboratories and I was employed in the development of tuners for television. In 1960 I founded my own television business at Tintagel, which closed at the end of July 2001.. The cinema was sadly burnt to the ground in 1970. I am sure if it had survived, today it would have been a very important part of the entertainment scene in this area. A tragedy.    
                                                      David Flower. Chief Projectionist at the Regal in the 1950's

David Flower In The Rewind Room                                                The Curtains Open   David Flower at The Projector     Micheal Blake at The Projector    The New Wide Screen  
                                                 The Show Begins          David Flower      Michael Blake (Friend)   Our New Wide Screen

Advert At The Cinema    Father's Bakery Shop Advert
The two stills above were taken from a roll of 35mm movie film found in the projection box at the Regal Cinema in the 1950s. The advert was for my father's business he had at Tintagel, a Greengrocer/Bakery, & today it is the Fresh & Local Shop. BTH Super Mark One Projector (50s)
Does anyone remember the advert run at the Regal Cinema, Delabole, during the 1940s?
The photographs associated with this article were taken by David Flower and are copyright and can not be used without permission of the owner.

The Regal Cinema in Atlantic Road, Delabole, opened on the 30th December 1930. The cinema had 230 seats but no balcony & was owned by Cornwall Cinemas (Newquay).
 It had it's own large car park & served a wide local area. During the 1930s for a short time the cinema was called the Picturedrome but reverted back to the Regal later. The cinema was taken over by Regal (Delabole) Ltd and was owned by George Graver, who already had the Picture House, Bude.
In it's final years it was purchased by Arthur Long, who managed it along with his wife on the Pay desk and his son Ron as projectionist.
. Arthur asked the District Council to subsidise the Cinema but they refused to help so the death knell for the dear Regal sounded.
It was closed in the 1960s & sadly burnt to the ground in 1969 & this treasured cinema was lost to the area.

The Regal is No More ...Photos Courtesy David Stacey

Burnt Out Regal Entrance End Screen End Of The Cinema Burnt Out Shell Of The Regal Cinema, Delabole

The fire bells went down at 3-12 am. on Sunday 2nd November 1969, for the Regal fire. You may wonder how I know these details, well the answer to that is I was driving the second fire vehicle, and the smoke was hell when we got to the top of Pengelly. It was a job the see the entrance to Atlantic road & I had to go up past the Cinema to a hydrant in the far council house garden, which was fireman Tommy Collins house. Sparks from the fire caught Charlie Cory's workshop on fire with all his paint burning fiercely.
A cup of tea was given to all the men by Mrs.Winnie Lush who stills lives in the same house today in 2010.
                                                                      Words by David Stacey

Tower Cinema, Launceston

                                                                  Tower Cinema, Launceston View From Centre Of Town


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