OWNERS of the fire-stricken Regent Cinema in Lyme Regis are considering building two high-quality apartments on the site to offset “extremely high build costs” of a new single-screen cinema.
The Regent Cinema in Broad Street has stood empty for more than three years following an electrical fire in March 2016.
While the Art Deco frontage of the grade II listed building remains largely untouched, the auditorium was completely destroyed and later demolished.
Residents have since raised questions over the likelihood of a cinema ever re-opening on the site.
Contrary to local rumours, WTW-Scott Cinema group, which owns the building, has remained adamant that it is committed to a rebuild scheme, but in previous statements said it had struggled to find a proposal that would be both financially and architecturally viable.
In a new statement released to LymeOnline this week, a spokesperson for WTW-Scott Cinema said: “At this stage, we continue to work on designs for a potential rebuild of the cinema in Lyme Regis.
“Given the building’s listed status, the high costs of construction and the relatively low potential turnover of a single screen cinema in the area, any such rebuild has to be both architecturally and financially viable.
“We recently briefed the local authority on a range of design options and our current position, one option of which was a reinstated single-screen cinema with two high-quality apartments at the rear to offset the extremely high build costs.
“We continue to explore this, and other options.”