When the Town Hall was christened the Regent Theatre and opened in the first week of February 1937, patrons were treated to an opening night of short films, a Popeye cartoon and two features.
‘Piccadilly Jim’ was the first movie shown, a very small sample of the film is on YouTube and can be seen below, a description of the movie can be found here.
The Popeye Cartoon didn’t have a title listed but several were released in 1936 and may of been sent to Deniliquin in 1937 and so we’ve picked one from 1936 for readers.
The second film was called ‘The Devil Is A Sissy’ and featured three of the greatest talents of perhaps all time in Mickey Rooney (played Andy Hardy in the Andy Hardy series of films), Jackie Cooper (known for playing Perry White in 1970’s – 1980’s Superman movies) and Freddie Bartholomew (starred in Oscar winning movie Captains Courageous with Spencer Tracy), unfortunately there is no clips on YouTube but IMDb has a description of the movie.
The next week had a Clark Gable movie in the form of 1934’s ‘Men in White’ and the Olivia De Havilland movie ‘Alibi Ike’, the trailers of which you can see below.
After this great start, The Regent lived in the Town Hall for another decade and a half before a new cinema was built on the spot of the Lyceum (which in turn moved to Davidson Street) in 1953.
Ironically there was a plan to build a Theatre where the Methodist Church was in Cressy Street but for some currently unknown reason it was never built despite the site changing hands twice.