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History of the Regent Theatre: 1985

By Allan Webb Prev | Next

1985's first hit was Gremlins (1643) then Ghostbusters (1507) and The Karate Kid was very popular (1304) but there were some “misses” creeping in as well. There were a lot of very ordinary films and people were looking more to videos and being very selective in what they would pay to go to see at the Cinema. People would still often say that it was much cheaper to get a video. They never considered the related costs that went with watching a video at home. The hireage was only one part of the cost.

The school holidays were very good, as usual, but by August we had gone down to 252 admissions in a week. This was short lived and business picked up again.

Because of the poor returns on some films, it was a good idea to keep the better titles on for a longer season and put a supporting feature in the second week. Beverly Hills Cop played to 1,055 people the first week and another 368 with Top Secret for a further five days and another 77 for a third Sunday only, with D.C. Cab. Police Academy 2 had 1,161 the first week and 387 for the next five days doubled with Gremlins. That was far better than other new films were doing at that time.

However, October, November and December started off very strong with films like Back to the Future, Mad Max Beyond Thunder Dome, the New Zealand film Came a Hot Friday, Rambo and Desperately Seeking Susan. We were getting 400 – 1,200 people weekly, which was great for the time of the year.

Although this year gave us one of our best November periods ever and the whole year produced many healthy results, in 12 months time the theatre was to go down to the lowest it had been since I had taken over.

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