The history of the Regent Theatre Ballarat
The theatre was originally built in 1938. The design was one which was used nationally. The cinema comprised of 1 screen and seated 2100 people. During the war years there were a number of American troops who were stationed in Ballarat, and in early 1939 the Theatre incurred a major fire which burnt the theatre to the ground. Rightly or wrongly, the blame for the fire was levelled at the American troops.
However with the aid of the troops the Theatre was fully restored to its glory, and continued to be operated by Hoyts Cinemas until around 1964 when they decided to close all their regional operations.
The Theatre remained closed until the Anderson family headed by the late Jack Anderson purchased the building in 1974.
For the next 2 years the Anderson family painstakingly restored all the features of the Theatre to its original glory, reopening with “Gone with the Wind” on November 11th 1976.
Multiplex Cinema complexes starting appearing, across the country and in early 1989,The Regent Theatre was converted into a 3 screen multiplex, which was one of the first of its kind in Regional Victoria. At about this time the Anderson family purchased the adjoining car park which once was the stable area for the Railway hotel( which was to become The Regent Hotel).They continued to operate this as a private car-park until 1996 when The Regent Multiplex was further developed from a 3 screen complex into 6 screen complex . On the adjoining car park was built 3 additional cinemas, a gold class theatrette, an Intensity games area, and administration area. All these were incorporated into the grandeur of the décor of the original Cinema complex.
Since then the cinema complex has continued to grow and develop.
In April 2007 the area formally occupied by The Intensity games, was further developed into one the State’s most modern and luxurious Gold Class cinemas and Restaurant. The Gold Class Cinema seats up to 28 Patrons seated in luxurious Moena recliners seats, with full table service. In addition Cinema 6 was further developed to facilitate The Fine art Film demand, and Showcase Cinema was born. This cinema has magnificent table top seating to compliment the most ardent film goer. This has brought to eight the total number of screens at the Regent Multiplex
The Regent Cinema has been one of Regional Victoria’s leaders of Cinema Technology and in 2009, installed one of the largest 3D Screens into Cinema1, followed by a further 3D screen into Cinema. Both theses Cinemas have also been out fitted with the latest Digital Projectors and Satellite broadcast equipment, capable of beaming film in from all over the world. We are equipped to facilitate conferences or Private functions for up to 700 people at any one time.
In the next 12-18 months we will see a rapid development programme instigated to install digital and satellite cinema into the remaining 6 auditoriums, making The Regent Multiplex the Largest Digital and 35mml film Entertainment complex in Victoria.