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Opened in February 1931; originally with an Atmospheric style interior and seating 1,446, it was built for the local David Agar circuit. The designs by architect Cecil Masey also featured a cafe, and it was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2Manual/5Ranks organ and full stage facilities. Taken over by the County Cinemas chain in March 1935, they were taken over by the Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. in 1939. The Regal cinema was closed in 1944, when it was damaged by a fire, and it remained closed for three months while repairs were carried out. Renamed Odeon in September 1961. Tripled in 1974, with Screen 1 the original circle, and screens 2 and 3 in the original stalls area.

The old dressing rooms were used as a base for Hospital Radio Colchester from 1975 to 1990.

Three additional screens were later added, bringing the total to six.

The cinema closed on Sunday, October 13, 2002 when Odeon relocated to a new purpose built 8-screen multiplex nearby in Head Street.

The old building is currently derelict, although plans have been submitted to turn it into a nightclub. On 30th October 2017 plans were approved to convert the front of the building into 11 apartments and to demolish the auditorium to build 35 apartments. On 31st October 2017, the building suffered a fire. #64MillionArtists #TheJanuaryChallenge #cinema