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Hoping for a magic time ahead as new era dawns at Tenbury's Regal
Back in business (left to right) Maggie Ball, Molly Swinbourne and Freya Ball enjoy a treat at the new-look Regal café.
JUST like magic – a new era begins for Tenbury’s premier entertainment attraction this weekend.
On Sunday, magician Paul Daniels will head a star line-up to mark the first show at the old Regal under its new management – with an independent trust taking over from the town council.
With a new digital projection and sound system in place, the Regal is back in business nearly 18 months after closing for an £800,000 Heritage Lottery-funded refurbishment.
The 74-year-old magician, who is known for his catch phrase “You’ll like it – not a lot,” has agreed to be patron of the Regal and is one of a list of performers who are providing their talents free of charge for the special night.
Paul Daniels made himself a household name with The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran on the BBC on Saturday evening prime time between 1979 and 1994.
Also on the Regal bill this Sunday is the singer Tony Christie, who has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. He had two top 20 hits in 1971 with I Did What I Did for Maria and Is This the Way to Amarillo, which hit the number one spot in 2005 after being used as the Comic Relief song and featured a host of stars on the infamous video.
The Regal earned its Heritage Lottery funding as one of only a few remaining examples of the small town cinemas that were such a feature of life in Britain between the first and second world wars.
It was opened as a cinema in July 1937 and is well known for its Mediterranean art deco fresco.
The Regal has been owned and run for many years by Tenbury Town Council but the day-to-day management has now passed to an independent trust.
Made up of volunteers and experts in cinema and the performing arts, the trust will be responsible for the running of the venue, including the programming and marketing. As a first move, an all-day restaurant has opened for Regal patrons and for people who are just visiting or shopping in the town.
Tenbury Town Council retains the ownership of the building and responsibility for the structure of the building and will charge the trust a rent under a leasing agreement.