Shazam! - The Book

"SHAZAM! is a wonderful personal account of people and a place that deserve to be remembered"
Jenny Agutter

"'SHAZAM!' is a wonderful reminder of what the Regal has meant to the people of Evesham over the years and a loud shout to the present owner as to why it would mean so much to have it back."  
Alistair McGowan

"I loved 'Shazam!' A marvellous account of a cinema so typical of the many thousands now sadly gone."
Alan Sillitoe

SHAZAM! - "The must-have book for all cinema fans"


Denizens Who Patrolled Her Marble Steps

Projectionist Norman Roberts with the two newly-installed Westar 2001A Projectors in 1947

Discover the Regal's early characters such as Frank Ridge, the genial manager who loved marching music and would inflict it upon his audience before the film programme began in order to 'stir the blood'; until the day that eight hundred wildly stamping feet came close to bringing the balcony down while keeping time to one of his favourite pieces.

Read about 'Rubberman' who unquestioningly supplied contraceptives to the cinema - going studs of the Vale and 'Spiderman' the projectionist who won the DSM for sinking a U-boat.

Meet the Theatre of Dreams' legendary 'floral' sisters Iris and Violet who, between them, worked in the Port Street picture palace for almost eighty years: and read about Regal's first lady manager, the glamorous Eileen as she battled with the post-war scurge of television.

Ernie Highland: The Brummie With The Magic Touch

And then, of course, comes the larger-than-life Ernie Highland from Birmingham, who took the Regal to new heights of popularity with his energy and innovation. He was only an average-sized guy who resembled a kind of antediluvian 'Milky-bar Kid' but his strength to weight ratio actually defied the laws of physics and when it came to the pinch he was just about the toughest hombre in Dodge. Under no circumstances would he tolerate bad behaviour in his picture house:

"... pissed beyond comprehension, with compass shot, thereby unable to locate the gents, the fellow had no choice but to unzip himself and let fly in the aisle, much to the chagrin of the surrounding family audience. Highland happened to be nearby and descended upon the hapless soak like an avenging angel, his face resembling something which, legend tells us, only appears at full moon..."

Who needs John Wayne?
Commissionaire Bob Fisher stands guard at the Regal entrance in late 1956
On the Regal roof C.1952
L-R: Barbara Taylor, Joan Sanders and Manageress Eilleen Butler.