Lyme Regis council ‘reluctantly’ turns down offer to rebuild Regent Cinema

regent cinema fire
The Regent Cinema auditorium was completely destroyed by fire in March 2016 and later demolished

LYME Regis Town Council has turned down an offer to rebuild and run the Regent Cinema which was destroyed by fire five years ago.

Owners WTW Scott Cinemas vowed to rebuild the Art Deco Regent after it burnt down in March 2016 but there has been little action on the site over the past five years.

They have now said they are highly unlikely to be in a position to rebuild the cinema for a considerable length of time, and offered the site to the town council as a community asset.

A statement from the council said: “They suggested the building and land could be passed to us to become a community asset and we would take on the rebuild.

“This is something we have thought long and hard about as we recognise the value and importance of the cinema to the town.

“While the council has supported the owners in their endeavours to rebuild the Regent Cinema since its destruction by fire in 2016, we don’t feel our role can extend to taking ownership of the site and assuming the risk and responsibility for the repair and reuse of the cinema.

“That is a matter for either an experienced cinema operator, a commercial developer or another organisation whose aims and objectives are more closely aligned with that role.

“The council continues to give generous support to many other local organisations and groups and we very much hope the cinema can be rebuilt and retained in its former use.”

Woodmead Halls

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