Regent Theatre Stoke
The Regent Theatre Stoke may have started out as a cinema, but it’s now one of many great theatres in the city center in Stoke-on-Trent, England. The 85 year old building has seen some ups and downs over the years, but it’s persevered and still attracts large crowds.
The Regent Stoke was built in 1929 and operated as a cinema. It was commissioned by the Provincial Cinematograph Theatres and was one of many “Regents” built throughout England. The design of the building was created by William E. Trent.
William Leason, Lord Mayer of Stoke-on-Tent, opened the theatre in 1929. The original design of the building allowed for the venue to be used as a cinema and a place for live entertainment. In its early days, the stage hosted a number of live performances.
The theatre underwent a name change in 1950. At the time, it was owned by Gaumont British who renamed the venue The Gaumont. During this time, the theatre hosted dramatic performances by local amateurs. The venue also played host to many live performers, including Cliff Richard, Shirley Bassey, The Beatles and Stevie Wonder.
In 1974, the venue was once again renamed to The Gaumont Film Centre and was converted into a three-screen cinema. Odeon took over ownership of the theatre in 1976.
The building’s condition had deteriorated greatly by the 1990s with the theatre’s interior dome suffering great water damage. Restorations had to be made if the theatre were to remain open. A trust, known as the “Regent Theatre Trust,” was established to help with the cost of restoring and renovating the building. It took three years and £23 million to complete the restoration.
The theatre reopened its doors in September of 1999 and was completely restored to its Art Deco style. The October opening of the theatre was led by Elizabeth II. The theatre is currently owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group and boasts a seating capacity of 1,600.
Facilities and Amenities
The Regent Theatre boasts four event facilities for hire that can be used for day or evening events. A dedicated management team, professional AV and a catering staff are available to ensure that all events run smoothly and according to plan. The facilities for hire include:
- The Circle Bar: 50 person capacity; 99x19ft.
- Britannia Suite: 150 person capacity; 59x26ft. This glass windowed room features art deco features that are original to the building. This is a great room for presentations, conferences, parties and weddings. A Mezzanine is also available, which can be used as a buffet area.
- Wedgwood Room: 15 person capacity. This is a small, private room that is ideal for private events, meetings and entertaining clients.
- Stalls Bar: 50 person capacity; 102x9ft. All of the bars at the Regent Theatre are unique and spacious, making them ideal for breakout and conference rooms. Tables and seating can be arranged to your liking.
Regent Theatre plays host to numerous workshops, backstage tours and drama groups along with Victoria Hall. The theatre’s work includes:
- Workshops, talks and insights that support visiting productions. These talks are led by professionals in the industry who enjoy sharing their knowledge of musical theatre, drama, opera, dance and children’s shows.
- Work experience placements and work related activities, such as career talks.
For ten years, the theatre played host to more than 15,000 young dancers and 2,500 new pieces of choreography through a production commissioned by Make Some Noise and the Arts Council.
Backstage theatre tours are available for:
- West Side Story
- The Winters Tale
Tours are just £7.50 and include tea/coffee and biscuits.
Lift access is available on all levels of the theatre for patrons with limited mobility. A lift can be found in the theatre foyer. Several wheelchair spaces are also available in the following areas:
- Stalls Row U – 4 spaces which are accessible via lift
- Circle Row B – 4 spaces which are accessible via lift
- Stalls Row E – This row can accommodate between 1 and 18 wheelchairs and is accessible from the foyer.
The cloakroom and the box office have low level counters and are accessible.
Infra-red sound enhancement is available to patrons with impaired hearing. A headset or necklace is available for use to boost the show’s volume. Guide and hearing dogs are also permitted in all parts of the theatre.
There are also many signed, captioned and audio described performances for users with disabilities.
Since its reopening 1999, the Regent Theatre Stoke has played host many major national tours, including:
- 42nd Street
- Starlight Express
- The Woman in Black
- Thoroughly Modern Millie
- An Inspector Calls
- Saturday Night Fever
- Swan Lake
- Noises Off
Getting to the Theatre
The Regent Theatre Stoke is located on Piccadilly ST1 1AP. The venue is accessible via:
- Train – There are many lines from towns in the surrounding areas to Stoke-on-Tent. The train station is a 10 minute taxi or bus ride from the theatre.
- Bus – The theatre is a five minute walk from the bus station.
- Car – The venue is easily accessible via the A50 or the M6 at junctions 15 and 16. Follow the signs for the Cultural Quarter and continue following the signs to the Theatres. Ample parking is available near the theatre.
You can find the address here, get contact details here and take a look at the seating plan here.