Those of you who ever attended a PPT AGM, or were a visitor when we were installed at Bletchley Park will no doubt remember a splendid model of the Regal Cinema, Leamington Spa situated in the narrow gauge room in the Enigma Cinema area.
In December 2018 Tom Harris, our archivist, received a request to borrow the model for an exhibition to be organised by the Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum and to be held during the summer of 2019. The object of the exhibition was to highlight all aspects of cultural entertainment in the town covering cinema, theatre, dancing, music, community and amateur performance.
The model, in store at Milton Keynes Museum, was duly transported to the Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum based in the Royal Pump Rooms. The exhibition was to be called 'An Entertainment' and ran from 14 June to 8 September 2019. It was a great success attracting over 16,000 visitors and the model was one of the most popular objects in the exhibition.
Facts about the Regal Cinema
The Regal opened in 1931 and was built by the Bath Cinema Company. Its chairperson was Edith Devis who, by 1936, owned all four cinemas in the town. The architect of the Regal and other art deco cinemas in the Midlands was Horace G. Bradley of Birmingham.
Facts about the model makers
The model was made by Peter and Sally Lee. Peter was from Coventry and Sally from Bristol and they met at Stoneleigh Showground and although getting on in years, live in Warwickshire.
After leaving school Peter worked in an architect's office and later ran his own joinery and timber business. On retirement Peter, together with Sally, started making architectural models, not only of the Regal, but other buildings locally and further afield. The detail and accuracy of the model is due to the fact that Peter, who visited and photographed the building, also had access to architects' drawings of it. The model was made in 1987 taking 2000 hours to complete and represents the cinema as it would have looked in the 1950s.
Thanks go to Huw Jones of Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, who kindly supplied me with the above information.
The PPT Halifax team enjoyed a Christmas party on 6 December at the Stump Cross.
Picture by Dion Hanson.
Another projector is now on display at EUTC thanks to Bob Mandry and Chris Woollard, and some help from our friends at Bell Theatre Services. This Vic 8 is ex Odeon Leicester Square with a smaller lamphouse, as when used by the PPT at Bletchley Park.
Alex Cooper, Nigel Wolland and Dion Hanson represented the PPT at the Duxford Air Display. They spent Friday 20 September setting things up, and the Saturday and Sunday running films and talking to visitors. Fifteen Spitfires were in the air for the impressive final flypast
Members and non-members were welcomed on Sunday 15 September to walk in and have a coffee and see the various areas of the Abbeydale Picture House where the PPT has been involved in the ongoing restoration project.
PPT members are able to participate in events organised by the CTA.