The theatre is fully equipped to show both 16 and 35mm films.
Since the theatres conversion from a cinema to a live theatre in 1977 the Regal has become Perths most popular theatre with well over one million people having attended the wide variety of entertainment (Please look at "EXHIBIT" to view some of the shows staged).
The Regal Theatre was built as a "hardtop" cinema for Messrs. Coade and A.T. Hewitt on the site of a former entertainment site known as the Coliseum Gardens.
At the same time, an outdoor summer picture garden was constructed on the opposite (eastern) side of Rokeby Road at the intersection of Sedden Street. The design of the Regal Theatre has been attributed to the well-known and popular architect William G. Bennett, based on a sketch design which originated in the office of William T. Leighton.
The cinema opened on the evening of the 27th April, 1938 with a topical film "Love Under Fire", set during the Spanish Civil War, which was raging at the time. The supporting film was "Shall We Dance" with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
The Regal was named for King George VI who, at the time of opening, had recently ascended the throne. King George was later acknowledged by the installation of the Crown and lettering spelling out the cinemas name in neon over the front entrance.
The exterior design of the Regal Theatre is unique in Western Australia. The circular tower, which is the buildings most prominent feature, gives cognisance to the corner site and establishes a pleasing relationship with the building on the opposite side. Hence the Regal is the only cinema still standing in Western Australia which opens onto an intersection.
Because of the concern with symmetry, the façade facing Rokeby Road has a large area of false walling, including false windows, simply to balance the volume of the bio box on the opposite side. The central axis of the façade and foyer is situated on a diagonal, whereas the auditorium runs parallel to Rokeby Road, with an unequal face to each street. The two-tiered half-cylindrical tower features aspects of horizontal and vertical detailing, which is accented with ribbed bands supporting the verticality of the stepped "banner" holding the flashing neon sign. This lettering has changed in the intervening years.
In 1946 the Regal was sold to Clarence ("Paddy") Baker, whose family have been associations with the site since the Coliseum days. No history of the building would be complete without a mention of the veteran picture showman who had been associated with the industry since childhood. Paddy ran the Regal until he died in 1986, leaving his beloved theatre to the people of Western Australia.
A testimony to Paddys frugality is the presentation of most of the original features which reflect the way of life in the late 1930s, including the Love Seat (without the benefit of arms), the Crying Room where mothers could tend to their babies while still watching the film (now office of the Manager), the Art Deco chrome and jarrah fittings including the unique ticket box, and the motif from the "Miladys and Gentlemen" (although it is doubtful whether tophats were ever worn to the Regal, even on Opening Night).
In 1977, John Thornton and Stan Bird leased the Regal Cinema and converted it to a live theatre. In 1985 they instigated the Baker Theatre Trust which now owns the Theatre on behalf of the Public of Western Australia.
The inaugural Trustees are: Richard V. Diggins, Ian J Hocking, Ian Lyon, Paul Tammerijn, John C Thornton, John J W Thornton.
This story board was commissioned in 1993 in the year of the Second World Congress on Art Deco. Information supplied by Vyonne Geneve, President of the Art Deco Society taken from a Masters Thesis title "Versions of Modernism in Cinema Design in W.A." (1930-1940)
The Regal has been listed with the National Trust and the Australian Heritage Commission.
The Theatre is situated on a main public transport route.
The Subiaco Railway Station is located at the rear of the theatre 2min walk away.
There are 2 bus stops located outside the Regal Theatre on Hay St and Rokeby Rd.
Maps of Bus and Train Routes and timetables can be found on the Transperth Website.
There are various carparks situated around the Theatre.
For Maps and cost of parking, please check the Wilson Parking Website.
Street parking alongside the theatre on Hay Street is for 1 hour parking plus there is two 10mins bay outside the Theatre.
The seating capacity of the Theatre is 1074.
Tickets may be purchased in person at the Ticketek office located in the foyer of the Regal Theatre.
Mon-Fri: 9am-1:45pm & 2:45pm-5:30pm
2 Hours before shows for pick up or door sales
Credit Card telephone bookings may be made through Ticketek on 132 849
or Theatre Arts Hotline 1300 795 012.
Tickets can also be purchased at the door up to the start time of the performance.
* Subject to availability
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ 474 Hay St Subiaco Western Australia 6008 | Map
❊ Web Links ❊
➼ Regal Theatre
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