(Blacks Regal Theatre)

Blacks Regal Theatre

   Country of Issue: UK  Manufacturer: J.R.Gaunt  Diameter: 38mm 
     Coin Dates: (Known to Exist) 1897 possibly replaced coin, 
              1909, 1914, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 
                     1924, 1925, 1927, 1928
     Legend: “Money for nothing” above farthing, “At Blacks 
                  Regal Theatre Sunderland” below
          Legend: “Keep me and you will never be broke” 
                Initials J.R.G below (J.R.Gaunt)

                 (Images Courtesy of Mick Foster)

Black’s Regal Theatre was built on the site of the Olympia Exhibition Hall and Pleasuredrome (1897-1910)and it was built for the northern independent Black’s circuit. It was designed by architects Edwin Sheridan Grey in the art deco style and it opened on 28th March 1932. The theatre was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/9Ranks theatre organ which had an Art Deco style console on a lift.Facilities included a cafe and roller rink. In 1955 the Black’s circuit was taken over by the Rank Organisation and the Regal was re-named Odeon from 28th November 1955.It was divided into a three-screen cinema in 1975 with 1,200 seats in the former circle and two 150 seat screens in the rear stalls. It closed in 1982 and remained empty for many years. It re-opened as a top-rank bingo club and remains in use today as Mecca Bingo.