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"

 

Early Fun "Out In The Sticks"

Let The Fun Begin
L-R : Sidney Hall (1st Manager), F.M.Stubbs (Director), Victor A.Morrall (Managing Director),
Mrs White (Mayoress), J.Wythen Roberts (Solicitor), Richard White (Mayor),
 E.J.Bomford (Building Contractor), Archibald Hurley Robinson (Architect).

'SHAZAM!' begins by investigating entertainment possibilities in the provinces at the turn of the century. Sparse indeed. If the church didn't light your candle you were left with fairs, fetes, Christmas, Easter, high days and holidays, when the great and the good allowed plebs to remove their noses from the grindstone for a brief spell. The pub and the Saturday afternoon match were available for men but women were left to read, knit and mash rusks.

In Evesham a rare early twentieth century treat was the annual arrival of 'Wadbrooks Travelling Electrograph Show' - a train of gaudily-painted caravans containing a primitive cinema in which, for the price of a penny, anyone could watch such early French short movies as 'The Bridal Night' which actually showed ten minutes of a young couple in bed on their wedding night... and with no 'Board of Censors' yet in operation, a good time was had by all, young and old.

An Insatiable Thirst For Entertainment

After several attempts at early flicks, the REGAL SUPER CINEMA arrived in Port Street, Evesham; the brainchild of local businessman Victor Morral and the handywork of legendary designer of 'picture palaces' Archibald Hurley Robinson.

Evesham's own 'Theatre of Dreams' immediately established itself as the 'people's cinema', with its family atmosphere and price-pegging policy. It was to achieve a cult-status with film fans all over the Midlands.

Manager Frank Ridge and his Usherettes in 1934
L-R (Back Row) Cynthia Wilson, Hilda Bandy, Iris Sale.
L-R (Front Row) Barbara Dolphin, Elsie Williams, Frank Ridge, Mary Majors , Queenie Hale.