The Rex, Dorset’s king of cinemas, has reopened!

Wareham's Rex Cinema has finally reopened its doors to the public!

Following an enforced absence of 9 long months Wareham’s historic cinema, The Rex, opened its doors again for business on the 17th December. In the photo above taken by Jean Dixon, the Mayor, Counsellor Lucia Kirk, is shown reopening the Rex, and with her is Jacqui Hall, our Town Cryer, and David Evans, chair of the Rex Charitable Trust.

The good news doesn’t end there though, because there’s also been extensive refurbishments carried out to the cinema.

Not willing to either be defeated by the Lockdown, or just to simply rest on their laurels for a few months, the Trustees decided to give the old cinema building a fantastic make-over. Apart from laying some 16,000 Victorian-style tiles they have provided better disabled facilities like a stair lift, as well as a new bar and new toilets.

Centenary being celebrated soon...

The Rex’s owners and patrons must surely be hoping the 2020’s finally shakes off the shackles of COVID-19, and starts becoming more like the first in its existence – the so-called ‘Roaring Twenties’ of a century ago. The decade when cinema as we know it came into being and venues like the Rex became an integral hub serving the community, just as it does today.

In fact it’s claimed that the Rex is one of the longest running independent cinemas in the country, and will be celebrating its centenary next year. Which was of course why the 1920’s – Art Deco – was the style chosen for the recent refurbishments.

The ones who made it - and make it - all possible

The trustees of the Rex have of course been very keen to show their appreciation to all those who have made the recent works possible, saying that:

“The Rex Cinema would like to acknowledge the kindness and generosity of all those who have made this refurbishment possible, including the BFI, The Talbot Village Trust, The Co-op, Original Style Tiles, Sainsbury’s, Rotary Club of Wareham, Wareham Lions and many other groups and individuals.”

And of course it must also be remembered that this charity-run cinema wouldn’t be possible without the 47 unpaid enthusiastic volunteers who undertake the role of duty manager, projectionist, bar person and usher!

So please visit the Rex in the next few weeks, there’s an exciting programme of films and events for Christmas and the New Year.

The Rex Cinema in the 1920’s and last year…

Leave a Comment