Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Through door number two...

Unless you've spent time in the shop units at the front of the Regal, this is probably a doorway you've never seen before. Up on the top floor, this new arch now connects the rooms on the right with the rooms on the left. Similar doorways will connect the middle floor too, increasing the usability of the space as you'll be able to access these rooms directly from the cinema itself.

As you can see from the picture, this isn't the first time that there has been a doorway here. The large lintel across the door makes it very obvious, and before the doorway was knocked through you could see the outline of the previous door in the plasterwork.

Whilst we're showing architectural features in the shop units, here's another you might not have seen before; an old fireplace. Despite the dust and dirt it's in very good condition, and pre-dates the cinema's construction, belonging to the house that originally stood on the site.

This fireplace is in the lefthand shop (as you look at it from the street). There was once a matching one in the right had shop, but although the angled wall of the chimney breast and the slab on the floor remain, the fireplace itself disappeared years ago.

We found a few odds and ends underneath the floorboards in these rooms. Our favourite are a little cigarette box and card, in excellent condition, which date to 1937. They were probably dropped there by the workmen building the cinema as they converted the old houses into rentable shop spaces, and have sat undisturbed there ever since.

More in-restoration photographs coming soon, including an entire post dedicated to pictures of scaffolding! Which I promise will be more interesting than I'm making it sound here...

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