FOR THE GAZETTE
Cue the Regent Theatre’s grand re opening as staff welcomed members of the community back April 19.
With comfy new digs and key flooring improvements in place, a screening of SHELTER and a subsequent Q and A with award winning local filmmaker Tess Girard was the event that greeted theatre goers earlier this month.
For those new to Picton, The Regent’s story begins way back in 1918 when self-made Greek immigrant George Cook had an incredible vision to build this magical hub for entertainment in his new home in Picton, Ontario.
Fast forward to now, and anyone can see the Regent organization embraces its heritage by preserving and celebrating the 105-year-old building while paving the way to the future as a sustainable entertainment hub and the beacon of Main Street. The Regent remains to be the only purpose-built cinema and performance venue in all of Prince Edward County.
Around the same time last year, the Regent launched their new lobby bar. So, Wednesday was an unforgettable day for the Regent as they celebrated their reopening post-renovation of the restored auditorium.
The Regents flooring restoration, which included refinishing the cement floor with a waterproof membrane to protect the floor from further water damage and increase its long-standing durability, was made possible by Huff Estates.
“Over the last many years, the floor has been degrading, and part of that has been water damage. We’ve had ceiling leaks and leaking pipes under the auditorium and, recently, water inclusions on the west side from shifting drainage patterns. We absolutely needed to redo the floor, and so we needed to take all of the existing seats out,” explained Executive Director Alexandra Seay in a statement.
Tidy Man Construction oversaw the restoration process.
Two other generous donors who could attended April 19 were Herb Pliwischkies of Quinte ReMax Ltd. and Steven Van Dusen of Tri-Canadian Energy and Associates. Pliwischkies and Van Dusens combined contributions allowed the Regent to purchase their beautiful new seats.
“We got 420 seats for 25 dollars each, so we leapt at that,” stated Seay.
Thanks to those in the Community that purchased their nameplates. The Regent made a generous amount of money. Argyll Engraving, located at 48 Picton Main, is currently making these plates.
“In order to survive in an ever-changing entertainment landscape in the County and beyond, it is critical that we celebrate what makes us unique: our heritage. Our lobby bar and accessible seating terrace renovation combine to embrace our Act Deco heritage and uplift the experience of attending the Regent. This upgrade to our auditorium floor and seating takes us closer to restoring the venue to its heritage and securing the Regent’s future,” added Seay.
Some in attendance asked one simple question- ‘Where am I supposed to put my drink?’
Seay expalined due to supply chain issues, costs for cup holders have doubled.
This means that the Regent needs to raise another $15,000 to install them. However, this hiccup will not keep them from achieving their goal.