Regal Theatre with bar and café set to reopen after £3.6m revamp

A render of how the completed theatre will look in Stowmarket

A render of how the completed theatre will look in Stowmarket - Credit: The Regal Theatre Stowmarket

A Stowmarket theatre which has been closed for over a year will be making a spectacular return at the end of the month, following a multi-million pound project to add two auditoriums and a bar.

The Regal Theatre shut down in February last year with a view to beginning a huge revamp funded by Stowmarket Town Council and Mid Suffolk District Council — however when the Covid pandemic hit the team had to adjust to long delays.

The grand reopening is finally scheduled to take place on May 28, with upgraded facilities and space.

Theatre manager David Marsh said: "This is a landmark project to show our ambitions for the town and it just looks superb, a huge achievement.

The Regal Theatre Stowmarket staff

L/R: Billie King, customer experience manager, David Marsh theatre manager and Bethany Couch, commercial manager - Credit: Lauren Bunce

"The foyer has grown more than 10 times the size it was, previously we had a small café which is now full sized.

"We have a new bar with cocktails and drinks, and serve food so pizza, curry, theatre snacks it's all there.

"Our ambitions before Covid hit were to double our footfall so we will see how that goes, obviously when we open we'll have to be operating within social restrictions for some time so will have a reduced capacity.

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"We are just so excited to welcome people back to the Regal."

The first screenings planned for the Regal will be Peter Rabbit 2, Kong Vs. Godzilla, Nomadland and Cruella.

Work is currently still ongoing, however is due to finish in time for opening

Work is currently still ongoing, however is due to finish in time for opening - Credit: The Regal Stowmarket

Open since 1936, a key objective of the project was to create a modern entertainment venue whilst protecting and preserving the core of the original theatre — the original box office will now perform a new role as a serving counter in the café area.

Town mayor Keith Scarff has been visiting the theatre for over 30 years with his wife Sarah and said they love the atmosphere.

He added: "I am very impressed with the quality of the work that has taken place at the Regal.

The Regal has been closed since early 2020

The Regal has been closed since early 2020 - Credit: David Marsh

"The redevelopment successfully blends the old and the new creating an excellent entertainment venue which I am sure will be welcomed by customers."

Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for economic growth, said the Regal is a key landmark  to attract visitors from across the district and fits in with the council vision of creating a 'vibrant' town for residents.

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