Haunted Blackpool – The Regent

First opened as The Regent Picture house on 17th of January 1921, this two story auditorium has served many purposes since it first opened as a cinema.  

Until the late 1960’s, the building was used as a cinema, but with the introduction of televisions, and the opening of larger and more exciting cinemas, The Regent became a part time bingo hall in 1969.  Eventually, in 1973, The Regent was a full time Bingo Hall.

Whilst The Regent operated as a bingo hall, it also underwent a great deal of refurbishments.  The entrance was extended and the building’s facilities were greatly improved.

By 1993, Gala Bingo who owned the premises at the time decided to close the doors on Bingo at The Regent.

Later, the building was reopened as a snooker hall and a suspended ceiling was installed at the balcony.  The installation of the ceiling helped to preserve the unused cinema above.

Whilst The Regent’s life as a snooker hall was relatively short-lived, it still operated as Riley’s bar until it closed down in 2010.

The Regent was put on the market in 2013 and went to auction where it was sold for £100,000 despite a guide price of just £60,000-£70,000.  Rick Taylor, the winning bidder had plans to turn the building into an antiques centre and hoped to reinstate the cinema.

By 2016, the stalls of the cinema were being used to sell antiques whilst the former circle had been reopened once again as a cinema and is now referred to as “The People’s Cinema”.

A photograph of a mysterious mist in the cinema was enough to begin local rumours about the building being haunted.  People claimed to have felt a presence, heard unexplained noises and others claimed to have seen shadows.

A ghost hunting group, known as the Ghost Followers visited The Regent Cinema to try to capture evidence of the entity.  Whilst they were probably expecting to feel a presence or pick up some eerie sounds with their recording equipment, they probably weren’t expecting what they did find! 

Is this a ghost caught on camera? (credit: ghost followers)

As you can see in the photo above, taken with their camera, there is the full bodied apparition of a man wearing a purple suit.  A member of the ghost hunting team explained that they only found the ghostly figure after they had left.  The man wasn’t visible with the naked eye and there was only the ghost hunting team in the building at the time and the man in the photograph didn’t resemble any of the team members.

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