Feasibility study into future of Regal Cinema in Tenbury to be headed by international theatrical agent Chris Davis A STUDY is to take place into the future management of Tenbury’s Regal Cinema when it re-opens next year after a £800,000 refurbishment.
Tenbury Town Council, which owns the cinema, has given the go-ahead to a feasibility study into the Regal’s future to be led by international theatrical agent Chris Davis, who is based in the town. He will prepare a blueprint for a not-for-profit company that would take responsibility for the day-to-day management of the cinema and work with its users, including the volunteers who run the cinema. Mr Davis believes that the running of The Regal needs to be put on a professional footing if it is to make the most of major investment made possible by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. “The problem with The Regal is that it has no infrastructure,” he said. “It has no box office, no usherettes, no bar, nobody to do the marketing.
The proposal is to put in an entity that would co-ordinate all of this.” He said that the lack of this support was very off-putting to producers and performers who would otherwise want to put on shows at The Regal. “The Heritage Lottery Funding will deal with the fabric of the building but do nothing about how it is run and secures revenue after it reopens.” He warned that unless something was done to address this, a fully refurbished cinema might end up being used no more than in its current dilapidated condition. If it was done properly, Mr Davis believes that there is an opportunity for The Regal to generate income for the town council instead of being a drain on resources. Meanwhile, the pen is poised ready to formally sign Tenbury’s acceptance of Heritage Lottery funding for the refurbishment of the Regal. Acceptance of the money will fire the gun for the refurbishment of the 1930s building, that is expected to reopen in spring 2012.
Under the conditions of the grant a new job as heritage access officer is being created and the town council expects to start advertising the post within days. It is one of the strings attached to the funding because there has to be an educational element to the programme for the cinema. A salary for the job has not yet been revealed but it is conditional that the post is maintained for at least two years.