The Regent Centre is located in the High Street, Christchurch, with the two main towns of Bournemouth and Poole six and twelve miles to the West. The New Forest stretches to the East for some thirty miles as far as Southampton. The Centre was opened in 1931 as a cinema and was used thus or as a bingo hall until 1983, when it was purchased by Christchurch Borough Council for re-development. Local pressure and enthusiasm for the arts persuaded the Borough Council to re establish the cinema and add structures and fittings to enable theatre presentations. The Council provided a small number of key professional staff, but a majority of the day to day operation was carried out by volunteers. The programme of events at the centre has continued to expand and diversify since this time.
In 1986, a temporary structure was added to the rear of the building to provide dressing room accommodation and a Studio rehearsal space. In 2000 a permanent four story replacement was completed as part of the town’s Millennium celebration.