The local Labour Group have come out strongly against plans to demolish, The Regent Cinema building. Speaking on behalf of the Labour Councillors, Cllr Carl Quartermain said,
“This announcement is deeply disappointing given the depth of public love and support for the Regent Cinema building. The cinema is iconic and unique, the last remaining in the art deco style to stand on a seafront and the Independent/Lib Dem administration should be doing all they can to protect it.
“The funding for the Regent cinema was already agreed by the Labour administration when we secured £20m from the TVCA in February 2019. This was to bring the Regent building back to life and deliver a new hotel and leisure facilities on the old Coatham Bowl site. With this plan to demolish the cinema, I now fear for the Coatham development and funding too.
“We did all we could to protect the building 16 months ago, evident in our press statements at the time. The public outpouring was poignantly demonstrated through peaceful protest outside the building by the “Save The Regent“ group, who were passionate to save it.
“Our immediate action was to protect and secure by spending on asbestos removal, repairs to the roof and security and to secure the funding it needed for refurbishment. We didn’t do all this for the Independent/LibDems to come along with a bulldozer and “save” The Regent in name only – or do they plan to change that too?”
“We do not have to lose this unique Art Deco building, a cinema that is great value for money or the history within these walls. There is nothing preventing the creation of a post modern structure within it that we can all be proud of.
“The Labour Group welcomes redevelopment but not at the loss of the building. I have personally supplied ideas and offered images of Independent community cinemas from around the UK. (See example image). I have requested any redesign offers a wrap around walkway outside of the building extended on the seaward side to offer an external viewing point. I also requested any eatery be seaward facing with view and open to all the public, so not just exclusive to cinema goers.
“We shall be writing to Cllr Lanigan and Cllr Davies to express my disappointment and opposition on behalf of Redcar residents.”