Regent Theatre, LONGTON

This article is about the Regent Theatre. Not the art-deco theatre in Hanley, but a much smaller cinema in Longton.

My grandmother once told me about a cinema off Lightwood Road she used to go to as a child. The roof was made of metal sheets, and when it rained, the noise of the drops hitting the sheeting would drown out the film.

But where was it?

The Picturedrome cinema opened in 1909 in Stone Road (now Lightwood Road), near to the Sutherland Institute.

The building was made of wood and iron, and provided cine-variety for 480 patrons. Cine-variety was normal in those silent days, with acts interspersed between the short films. There were no full-length films in those days!

In 1921 it reopened as the Regent Theatre, ditching the films for acts of all sorts. Throughout its lifetime, there appears to be concerns over the structure. In the early days, adverts were placed to reassure patrons, however in later years the local Watch committee placed restrictions on the use of the building. The venue closed in 1936 after an inspection, in the interests of public safety.

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