• The Rex Cinema

The Rex Cinema, Dorset

Local residents in Wareham in Dorset can now go back in time and watch modern movies in a restored working cinema and historic building, which was originally built in 1889 and is now named the Rex Cinema.

One of the country's oldest cinemas was brought smartly into the 21st century with an award to purchase new sound and visual equipment in the early part of 2012.

The Rex started life as entertainment venue Oddfellows Hall in 1889, becoming the Empire cinema in the 1920s and latterly has relaunched itself as a community cinema, retaining the unique ambience and character of an old cinema. The Rex was purchased and restored in 2009 by the Purbeck Film Charitable Trust with funding from Viridor Credits, becoming a not-for-profit community cinema, enabling any member of the community to make a donation in return for a seat at a film showing.

With the Rex Bar open 45 minutes before the film starts every evening, the cinema is also one of the few in the UK where it's possible to have a glass of wine or locally brewed beer while watching a film.

A further application for funding in 2012 for internal refurbishment meant that The Rex Cinema Committee could install a state-of-the-art Dolby 7.1 sound system and new projector screen. The new audio equipment compliments their new projector, screen and curtains, bringing the mod cons of a modern cineplex into the charming ambience of the old cinema.

The Rex celebrated its re-opening in March 2012 by showing The Artist; the Oscar-winning movie, chosen for its vintage feel and stunning soundtrack, putting the new sound system through its paces!

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