The Big Clean Up – Restoring The Regal
When The Regal cinema first opened its doors in 1932, it provided the people of Evesham with more than just a place to woo their intended on Saturday nights; it gave cinema lovers of all ages the chance to escape into a world of daring adventures, epic battles and thrilling mysteries, served with a popcorn-bucket full of Hollywood glamour.
Throughout the movie industry’s heyday, The Regal could seat over 1,000 and drew in a crowd of more than a million every year. Over time, it became a central part of the local community and earned its place in Evesham’s history books. From usherettes and projectionists who worked the screens to visitors who met their wartime sweethearts, the venue holds many fond memories for the locals.
Sadly, as modern multiplexes lured filmgoers away with the promise of blockbusters and big screens, The Regal’s popularity dwindled and it was forced to close its doors in 2003. For over 6 years the projectors lay silent and the silver screens featureless… until father-and-son team Ian and Laurence Wiper decided it was time to make The Regal worthy of its name once more.
A real labour of love, the project would be a costly undertaking not without its hurdles. But before they could assess the true scale of the improvements needed, a good old-fashioned clean up was required. They turned to Daily to remove the years of grime that now covered the walls and surfaces, and Emma Bennetts (our very own brand manager) jumped at the chance to help. “When we heard about the project we were really excited that our products were being used by the team at The Regal Cinema to preserve such an important part of the interior,вЂќ she explained.
Workers at The Regal had discovered that Daily products were powerful enough to get rid of the dirt and dust, yet gentle enough to preserve the original features, such as the art deco wallpaper and woodwork. While our first thought was to donate our products to the cause, we knew we could do more… so we decided to roll up our sleeves and get stuck into ‘The Big Clean Up’.
Alongside some willing volunteers, all armed with Daily sprays and cleaning equipment, aprons and protective clothing, we scrubbed, brushed, washed and wiped away the grime; over 40 years of nicotine stains were cleaned from the walls in preparation for the next phase of development. According to Laurence Wiper, “The cleaning event made a massive difference and about one third of the wall space is now ready for painting, which isn’t bad for one day. If we didn’t have these volunteers to help us we would be looking at a fortnight’s worth of work.”
The restoration project is ongoing and with every week that passes The Regal is being revived. In 2009, Alistair McGowan became a patron, raising both the profile of the project, and some much needed funds with a gig show entitled ‘The Regal Big Weekend’. And thanks to a recent £2million investment from Wychavon Council, this famed venue is set take its place at the heart of Evesham’s community once again. Much more than just a cinema, at The Regal you’ll be able to meet for a coffee or a pre-show drink, see live music and performance, take in an art exhibition or dine in style in its rooftop restaurant.
At Daily, we were delighted to offer a helping hand to such a deserving, community-led project. As Emma puts it, “We thought it was fantastic that the local community is right behind the restoration of the venue for people to enjoy once again”. So if you’re ever near Evesham, make sure you stop by; there’s no finer place to catch a film.