For a long time the Regent Theatre has been a hot topic of debate among people in the region.
If you're reading this, no doubt you've had some experience with the Regent, maybe you had your first date there and saw a show many decades ago. Maybe you remember going to see Shrek 2 with friends from school and lining up all the way out the door and up the street to get in.
Whatever it is you've probably got an opinion on what you think should happen to it.
The Regent Theatre hasn't shown a film for more than a decade and for a long time before that it wasn't open either. It's been so long since it's been open that there are high schoolers in the region who would know of the Regent only as an old, empty building.
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Of those that have an idea of what should happen to it, none have been more vocal and active than the Revive The Regent crowd. Helmed by former Mudgee resident Simone Sheridan, 'Revivers' as they are sometimes called have been fiercely opposed to several development applications put forward by owners of the Regent building and largely agree that the building should be used as a multi-use entertainment facility and a lot of the original 'charm' of the building's interior maintained.
The Regent has always had a rocky life after it closed, and now is no different, however, IF the building was to go on sale again - it's really the perfect time for a group like 'Revive' to stand up and, to use an already-overused phrase, put their money where their mouth is.
I'm sure that a group like 'Revive' is intimately across what it would cost to bring the building up to scratch and get it usable by the general public. But I do worry that a lot out there have no idea. I'll gladly admit I don't and I can still see that it'd be prohibitively expensive.
If the thirst is there for entertainment in Mudgee like so many say, why then are shows at Club Mudgee or the Town Hall not sold out? Is it about the movies and music or is it about the building? And if it is about the building then turning it into a space where you can experience what we already have isn't a thoroughly enticing proposition after a few visits.
I have the same fond memories that everyone else does of the building when it was open (sans racist mural) but if we can't at least all agree and try *anything* to bring it back to life, then we have already doomed the building to ruin.