The Regal Theatre and Cinema in Redruth has been a vital lynchpin for the community for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of it is going there with my cousins to watch Star Wars as a boy. It hosts performances by many local drama groups and is currently gearing up for a slate of core Christmas events.
Earlier this year, the Regal completed a £1.5 million investment to upgrade all of its facilities. It is a great vote of confidence in Redruth coming from one of the town's most important businesses and together with the plans to build a new Cornwall Archive Centre at the site of the old brewery, I hope that it can be a catalyst for a lot more investment in Redruth and deliver a revival in the cultural life of the town.
Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Regal and see for myself the fantastic changes that have been made. As a venue for live performances it now rivals the Hall for Cornwall but it offers something else far more forward thinking called "stage to screen". I have always been very interested in how we can use rapidly advancing digital technology to deal with the fact that Cornwall is a peninsula and a long way from major population centres. The advent of teleconferencing and the fact that it is now available to all through applications like Skype has already done great things for business. It is now less important to travel for meetings.
Now the Regal is doing the same thing for the best live performances London theatre can offer. The idea is simple, there is an agreement between firms like the Regal and the National Ballet, Royal Opera and National Theatre. Stage performances from London are broadcast live to an audience in Redruth as the performance takes place. The atmosphere from the audience at the live theatre immediately spreads to the audience in Redruth. It is just like being there yourself. Furthermore, the upgrade delivered at the Regal means that the seats are better and there are some private boxes which are excellent for private family events or corporate hospitality.
My wife has always loved theatre and last year we went to see War Horse which is probably my favourite ever stage show. In recent months the Regal has screened Swan Lake and The Audience which plots all the Prime Minister the Queen met. Between now and Christmas live shows from London include The Nutcracker, Hamlet, Spartacus. But to anyone who has not seen it, I recommend a visit to the Regal to see War Horse which arrives in the New Year.
George Eustice can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 Trevenson Street, Camborne, Cornwall TR14 8JD or by telephone on 020 72197032.