Sell-out success for Regent Centre's reopening weekend
FILM fanatics flocked to Christchurch's Regent Centre for a string of sell-out screenings on its re-opening weekend.
The refurbished Art Deco cinema and theatre welcomed back patrons last Friday and enjoyed a run of seven full showings of family favourite Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and the multi-award winning documentary film Nomadland.
Demand for tickets was so high that the box office launched a waiting list for customers unable to book. All performances complied with social distancing requirements with groups of up to six or two households permitted to sit together.
Regent Centre general manager Matthew Vass-White said: “We are delighted that we can finally get the doors back open again. The UK theatre and cinema industry has been through a particularly tough time since March 2020 and it’s encouraging to see really strong ticket sales for our forthcoming events.
“We’ve invested significantly into our beautiful building to make sure that it is fit for an audience in these unusual times but also that it is in great shape for years to come so we hope that when our audiences are ready, they enjoy not just the great line of films and shows that we have to offer but our refurbished building and services.”
As reported in the A&T, the High Street theatre underwent a major £350,000 renovation last year to enhance the building original 1930s features. Other improvements were made to the to the cinema sound, auditorium lighting and the stage.F
ilm fans are set to enjoy a programme of new releases including Disney’s live-action prequel feature film Cruella 11th-17th June, and the long-awaited musical In the Heights starring Lin-Manuel Miranda 18th-20th June.
The Regent Centre is preparing to restart live shows when restrictions ease further, beginning with Highcliffe Charity Players' Treasure Island from 29th-31st July.
Forest Arts in New Milton is another venue reopening, starting with yoga and dance classes this week.
In Sway, the first public exhibition since lockdown restrictions eased will be held at SPUDworks gallery, with Lymington landscape artist Penny Lamprell's paintings of the changing New Forest seasons.
She said: “No matter how bad the news was, I knew that if I went into the Forest or out on the heathland there would be a calmness.
"When you are standing at an easel for a few hours with only deer and ponies for company it brings home how long the Forest has been here – that the ancient trees and landscape have survived, and so will we.”
Penny’s work will be exhibited until 29th June. Visit www.spud.org.uk