cinema, culture, entertainment, film, history, interiors, lifestyle, style, travel, vintage

The Rex – art deco cinema revival

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Yesterday afternoon we paid another visit to The Rex, Berkhamsted’s beautifully restored art deco cinema. Built in 1938 and closed in 1988, The Rex reopened in 2004 following a huge refurbishment in which all the rows in the pit were replaced by tables and a licensed bar. The ultimate deluxe cinema, non? And no, it’s not expensive – matinee tickets are £6.50 each for a table and just £5 for seats up in the circle.

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There’s no popcorn at this place but there’s so much that’s better – we got cheese platters delivered to our table moments before the film started. You can also order more teas, coffees and beers at the bar during the film, just do it quietly.

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The Gatsby, a separately run restaurant that occupies the former foyer of the cinema –

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This queue for tickets is no exaggeration – regulars often wait for up to 90 minutes to get tickets on the day they’re released but as a thank you the staff often bring out free tea, coffee and biscuits while customers wait. Don’t rely on booking over the phone because it’s always engaged. My strategy for securing tickets is to go for a matinee of a film that’s already been out for at least a month. For The Hobbit we just turned up and bought tickets on arrival, confident that a 2pm showing on a Thursday during term time would be very quiet.

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The Rex before its closure and rebirth –

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