The Regal Theatre, on the Broadway, Wimbledon was built for the County Cinemas chain as a Cinema with stage facilities, and designed in the Art Deco style by the well known Theatre and Cinema architect, Robert Cromie, who also designed the present Prince of Wales Theatre in Leicester Square, London. The Regal opened on the 20th of November 1933 with a showing of the films 'The California Trail' and 'Bitter Sweet.'
The Theatre had its own Conacher 4 Manual 20 rank organ, played on the opening night by Reginald Foort, but this was to be removed in 1958. The Theatre's auditorium was constructed on two levels, stalls and one circle, and its stage was quite large with a 48 foot proscenium opening and 25 foot depth. The Theatre also had 12 dressing rooms and a cafe for patrons. From the start the Regal was home to film showings and variety productions on stage.
Taken over by Odeon in 1939 the Theatre became Oscar Deutsch's second Cinema in Wimbledon. Ten years later the Theatre was renamed the Gaumont in 1949 but wasn't actually named Odeon until 1962 when the other Odeon in Worple Road was closed.
Right - A programme for a Sunday Concert featuring Ray Ellington and Marion Ryan at the Gaumont Theatre, Wimbledon on the 1st of May 1955.
The Theatre was tripled in 1972 with one screen in the former balcony and two in the stalls. Two more screens were added in 1991, one in the former cafe, and one in the former front stalls area. By this time there was little to be seen of the original auditorium decorations.
Above - A programme for a Sunday Concert featuring Ray Ellington and Marion Ryan at the Gaumont Theatre, Wimbledon on the 1st of May 1955. Also on the Bill were Hermandos Deniz 'Cuban Rhythm Band', Neville Cameron 'Jamaica's New Singing Star', and Mahala Davis 'England's Sarah Vaughan'.
The Theatre was closed completely in 2002 when a new multi screen Odeon opened in the town, and was then demolished the following year and an office block was built on the site.
Right - The back of a programme for a Sunday Concert featuring Ray Ellington and Marion Ryan at the Gaumont Theatre, Wimbledon on the 1st of May 1955. The back page of the programme advertises the next Sunday Concert featuring Eric Delaney and his Orchestra with vocalists Marion Williams and Derrick Fancis, Nill McGuffie 'Radio and Recording Pianist', and Danny Purches 'the Singing Gipsy Romantic'.
There are some excellent photographs of the Theatre in several of its guises on the CinePhoto website here.
Some of the information on this page was gleaned from the excellent Cinema Treasures website.
If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.
You may find the following pages from this site of interest: