The Regal cinema was built for Sidney Fuller in 1934 on the site of John Forrester's sawmill and joinery yard in Crichton Street. It was formally opened on July 19th by provost W.W. Carstairs. The whole erection from start to finish was indeed Regal with 100,000 bricks it took ten weeks to build. the local Observer newspaper quoted.
It was designed and built by Cowiesons Ltd, St Rollox, Glasgow, and was the last word in comfort, beauty of design and colouring. There were two German Bauer projectors and arc lamps made in Stuttgart. The cinema sat around 800 people.
The first programme screened was Footlight Parade starring James Cagney.
When Cinemascope arrived stronger arcs were needed and they were replaced with second hand Kalee arc lamps from the New Picture House in St Andrews, which had changed to Peerless arcs. The original Bauer projectors were stored and replaced with Ross of London projectors.
After the war a local consortium ran the cinema until 1972.
When the building was being demolished in 1978 the last manager Lindsay Berwick, who attended the opening as a child from Arncroach) salvaged one of the original Bauer projectors and it is now in a museum in Stuttgart. There is now housing on the site.
Information and photos courtesy of James Berwick.
1940s view of the mercury arc rectifier switched on courtesy of John Doig.
Image courtesy of the NLS Moving Image Archive.