In the late 1930s the cinema was transformed to compete with the new chain cinemas opening up in the area. Along with its new modern look it was renamed The Rex.
The 1930s saw the second period of national cinema building. In this area alone, four new cinemas were opened by chains such as Odeon and Gaumont. These new cinemas were built in modern styles with luxurious interiors and all mod-cons, which this 25 year old cinema struggled to compete with.
So in 1938 the cinema underwent a transformation, reopening in September as The Rex with a new modernist façade by Howes and Jackman and an Art Deco auditorium designed by renowned cinema interior designers Mollo and Egan.
The original 1910 barrel-vaulted ceiling was retained, with decorative Art Deco panels added along the walls. The auditorium was reversed, with the screen moving to the opposite end. This involved considerable alteration to the flooring to create a rake for the seating. The colour scheme, like today, was red, bronze and gold. Here Ken Edwards talks about his reaction to the cinema’s redevelopment: