Regent closes its doors

June 25th, 2024Regent closes its doors

Ballarat’s Regent Cinema has suddenly closed its doors – just a week out from the winter school holidays.

Ballarat’s Regent Cinema has suddenly closed its doors – just a week out from the winter school holidays.

Management posted on Monday, June 24 that: “It’s with a great amount of sadness that we have taken the decision to cease operations effective immediately.

“We have arrived at this point after a great deal of consideration and as result of a number of factors that have contributed to the heart-breaking decision to close the business.

“We would like to thank the Ballarat community for their support over the years.”

A sign outside the cinema says there are no session times available and customers who had booked for events like birthday parties have received emails saying the booking can no longer be honoured.

On social media people posted they had wonderful memories of the historic cinema.

“Absolutely heartbreaking…I have so many wonderful memories of going to the Regent, even from childhood when my first ever movie (The Muppets take Manhattan) was shown and they had intermissions, or in recent years, the fabulous camaraderie of a packed-out theatre, celebrating the latest Star Wars movie. Is there no way this can be kept…the Regent is a huge part of Ballarat’s history and culture!”

“Sad news, but cinemas have been struggling for a long time and the studios haven’t helped. Almost every second movie these days is a nostalgia recall for people like me who grew up in the 80s, but guess what, we don’t go out on a Friday night now.

“The studios failure to deliver for contemporary audiences, plus the fact that movies are on streamers within weeks meant that cinemas needed to sell an experience – but it was a notoriously expensive one given the cost of food and drink. I hope someone else comes in a can turn it around. Free popcorn and soft drink refills would be a start given tit cost next to nothing for the vendor.”

“What a shame we will be losing the Regent Cinemas Ballarat. We have been supporting for so many years with our family of six and so many movies have been seen.

“Recently to see IF and I was surprised that on a Tuesday afternoon we were the only ones in there with one older regular customer.

“It’s a shame there wasn’t notice for all, not knowing the circumstances but with winter school holidays starting I’m sure many would have loved the opportunity to use their vouchers/loyalty points and just one last hoorah for The Regent.”


The Regent was opened in 1928 with almost 2000 seats in stalls and balcony levels. 

Melbourne architects Arthur W. Purnell and Cedric H. Ballantyne were responsible for the design. Mr Ballantyne also designed the Regent Theatre on Collins Street in Melbourne.  

Fire damaged the interior in 1943 and architects were commissioned to redesign the building. 

Hoyts closed the business in 1970 but it was re-opened in 1976 by the Anderson family.

Ten years later it was opened as three separate theatres and in the early 2000s another three screens were added.

Words: Donna Kelly

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