About The Regal Theatre

The Regal Theatre prides itself on being the centre of high quality creative performance. Hosting a lively and varied programme of over 150 events a year, including drama, concerts, full-scale orchestras, ballet, opera, films, live screenings and recently introduced comedy nights.

As the Regal approaches celebrating its 90th anniversary, it remains the cornerstone of Minehead, Exmoor and beyond and continues to be much loved by the local community.

Not only are they inspired by the diverse range of entertainment, there are many varied opportunities for people to get involved in the theatre and become immersed in stage craft; performance – venturing onto the stage for themselves; or learning new skills and helping to run the theatre through its volunteer network.

Managed and maintained by the MATA Regal Theatre Company Ltd, a registered charity (no 1052714), the theatre is run entirely by its 200 volunteers who provide all the skills and drive to both sustain a 90-year old building with its 400-seat auditorium as fit for modern purpose, and to run every aspect of its busy calendar of richly varied events.

The Regal Theatre strives to be an inclusive performance venue, providing creative and supportive theatrical opportunities for young people and adults, an inspirational and motivational centre for resident companies and a welcoming, professional atmosphere for guest performers.

The History of The Regal Theatre, Minehead

The Regal in Minehead Highstreet in 1934

The Regal was built in 1934 as a 1600 seat theatre and cinema. A single story ballroom was attached which was converted to a retail outlet and just recently back to a cinema. The present building was privately owned by John Welch who acquired the property in 1977 and converted it to its present form in 1979.

The upstairs contains a theatre with 410 raked seats and previously held a second small auditorium converted from the original theatre café. Both auditoria were used by John Welch as cinemas, while the main stage was often booked by local amateur drama societies for performances of their work.

Prior to his retirement, John Welch transferred control of the Regal to Minehead Amateur Theatrical Association (MATA), an umbrella group for societies performing in the Regal, composed entirely of volunteers. MATA assumed control in 1994 with the purpose of maintaining live theatre in Minehead, and negotiated a lease. The theatre regards John Welch as a major benefactor and, on his many visits, he is pleased to see the Regal developing successfully.

In 1997/8 MATA became one of the founder members of the West Somerset Arts Consortium (later ARTlife) and so plays its part in arts development throughout West Somerset.

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