June 15, 2010 | |

The Regal Cinema

Regal is one of the few old-style theatres still standing and functioning in all its glory. The cinema hall is a stone’s throw from the grand Gateway of India. It was one of the several noteworthy cinema theatres of Mumbai that were a direct outcome of the big cinema boom of the 1930s. Other theatres of this generation were Plaza Central, New Empire, Broadway, Eros and Metro.
The advent of the twentieth century saw the gradual shift from the previously favoured Neo-Gothic trend in architecture. Though some buildings still continued to conform to the Victorian and Indo-saracenic styles, a new architectural, form that was more with the times and definitely more practical, came into being. This was called the ‘Art Deco’ form and was heavily influenced by the popular style of design and decoration in the US and Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. The hallmarks of this style were geometric designs and the use of highly intense colours to reflect the rise of commerce and industrialisation in general.
The cinema hall was built on the land that was earlier occupied by an old, saluting battery. The land was leased to K. A. Kooka and F. H. Sidhwa of Globe Theatres, who also owned the Capitol Cinema near Victoria Terminus. The cinema hall was designed by Charles Stevens, son of the famous 19th century architect, F. W. Stevens and was executed completely in reinforced concrete cement (RCC).
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