The story of the much-loved Regent Theatre is told in a beautiful exhibition by Wauchope District Historical Society currently at Wauchope Library.
It tells how a local shopkeeper, Mr J N Parker, decided to build a proper picture theatre here in 1922. It was erected in Young Street and leased to Mr and Mrs Bailey and was initially called Bailey’s Picture Palace.
People travelled miles by horse and cart to go to the movies, even crossing rivers and creeks to get to town.
In the 1930s, talking pictures burst on to the silver screen and the first one in Wauchope was The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson.
The picture palace wasn’t just a place to watch films. It became the venue for dancing and balls, flower shows, cooking competitions and meetings.
People came to mix, meet members of the opposite sex, to court, to gossip and exchange news. The theatre was Wauchope’s social foundation.
Tragically, the Regent burned down in 2001, but its memories are powerful to this day.
My culture, my story: the story of the Regent Theatre is on at Wauchope Library for the next two weeks.