Back in February, we mentioned that Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass had a feature on the Regal Cinema.
One of our readers, Stephen Pickard, has just left a comment that’s worth repeating as an item in itself:
I have very fond memories of the Regal Cinema. When I was 11, our family moved to Eastwood in January,1959. Sometime in ’60’61, when I was able to travel on my own, I started taking the bus to Rayleigh high street on Saturday mornings to the Regal cinema and recall being transfixed by the ‘Batman’ serial they showed at the time.
On Sundays they used to show double bills of ‘X’ films of ’50?s horror and science fiction which I was eager to see but at the time there was a restriction to everyone under the age of 16 being admitted, whether or not you were with an adult.
It seemed that it was a big challenge to kids like me, that were only 13/14 was to challenge the law to try to see an ‘X’ film under age.
So, I sacrificed the ‘Saturday morning pictures’ and decided from now on I would be an adult! I approached the pay-desk, (my heart was beating twice as fast!) I recall very clearly the lady selling the tickets, she was either Scottish or an accent from further north. When I asked for a ticket, she would reply in very concerned voice “Are you sixteen?”. On saying yes, up popped the ticket of which I grabbed and quickly ventured into the darkness of the cinema before the manager saw me.
I recall what the manager looked like. He was in his 50?s or 60?s with grey hair and mustache, always dressed in a suit and shirt and tie.
I felt a little guilty about going in under age, but I will be forever grateful to the Regal for those special memories.
I remember that the first ‘X’ films I saw, for those interested, were “Cage of Doom” (“Terror from the Year 5000?) “Demons of the Swamp” (“Attack of the Giant Leeches”) and “The Fantastic Disappearing Man” (“Return of Dracula”). I still have these movies in my collection and whenever I watch them I always fondly remember where I first saw them. Regal Cinema RIP.