Regal House To Re-open

Regal retouched

Regal House was first opened as a cinema in the 1920s. As a one-room cinema it wasn’t very big but the Regal was the place to be on a Saturday. There were queues of people outside the cinema, all waiting to catch some Tom and Jerry, Laurel and Hardy or Flash Gordon.

Colm Dunne, a local Ringsend resident, tells NewsFour, “The cinema was something for all of us to look forward to after school. We would save up our money during the week and four pence would buy us a seat to get in to see the shows.”

Ann Brien, another local who lived in Ringsend from 1954 to 1969, also has some great memories about the Regal. She said, “These were some of the happiest years of my life. My pals and I would go to the Regal Cinema in the early 60s when we were allowed to go without our parents. There was an usherette who was a girl that showed us to our seats. She had a flash lamp and during the film you could buy a tub of Dairy Maid ice-cream, popcorn and if you were old enough, cigarettes.”

The last show in the Regal was The Bird Man of Alcatraz, which was released in 1962. The old cinema was last used as a FÁS training centre, which opened in 1986 and relocated in 2009 to Townsend Street. The building has been left derelict for many years, and is now set to re-open as a Pentecostal Church.

Abundant Grace is a Pentecostal Church that has been in Ringsend and Irishtown since 2006. They held their services at 57 Irishtown Road but unfortunately their landlord went into liquidation. An opportunity arose for the church to hold their services in Regal House but a makeover was badly needed.

The church moved into Regal House on the 1st December. Work is progressing on the renovations and they are hoping to have an opening service in March. “Once we get the building completed, our active services will all restart again,” said Pastor Sharon of Abundant Grace. The cost of renovations for Regal House meant that Abundant Grace had to get to a loan. As Pastor Sharon says “everything we do, we fund ourselves.”

The church is very active within the community. They work with people with addiction issues, the homeless and try to help the community in general. Pastor Sharon feels that the community will be very pleased with what they have accomplished. “Regal House holds great memories, all from different generations. I am looking forward to getting people’s reactions when it re-opens in March. A date has yet to be decided.”

Pastor Sharon would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for standing with them in their time of transition. “All things have worked out in our favour and God has truly blessed us with being able to have Regal House so that we can get back to business as usual.”

By Donna Dunne