Last updated: 4 March 2024

Next review: 27 November 2024

Image credit: Weedon Architects

A CGI of the Regal Cinema, a building with trees and people

What is planned?

In February 2024, a new planning proposal was submitted by the site’s owner Mammoth Capital for the redevelopment of the Regal Cinema which includes:

  • the retention and restoration of street frontage historical façade 
  • the construction of a part two, part six storey building
  • a two screen cinema and a café bar on the ground floor level 
  • 33 residential apartments on the floors above. 

Mammoth has been working on the new proposal taking into account previous feedback from engagement it has had with residents and stakeholders. 

Have your say on the new proposals

The Council, as local planning authority, is carrying out public consultation on the new planning application (reference 240280) from Monday 4 March 2024 for 21 days.

During the consultation, residents will have the opportunity to submit comments on the proposal. Although the consultation will be running for 21 days, the Council will continue to accept and fully consider consultation comments right up until the application goes to the Council’s Planning Committee later this year.

Have your say by visiting the Waltham Forest Council planning website.

Image credit: Weedon Architects

Regal Cinema CGI view 2 2024. A building and a street scene with cars

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns The Regal Cinema building?

The site is owned by Mammoth Capital, a privately owned developer and construction company. 

Why is there a new planning proposal?

Since it purchased the site in 2018, Mammoth has reviewed the previous site owner’s proposals and further developed the detail of the designs. Mammoth has updated the plans to ensure compliance with the latest design standards and construction regulations. It has also reviewed the design of the cinema space to ensure it can meet the requirements of a range of potential cinema operators. 

What engagement has there been on these plans?

Mammoth has undertaken extensive public engagement with local residents, including with an exhibition held in December 2022 attended by over 200 residents and wider online engagement. It has also held a series of pre-application meetings with the Council. Mammoth has now submitted its planning application and the Council is formally consulting the public on the proposals as part of the planning assessment process.

How do I comment on the plans?

The planning application reference is 240280 and you can comment through the Council’s planning website.

Who will operate the cinema?

There continues to be a range of interest from cinema operators in the plans for The Regal and opening a new cinema in Highams Park. Cinema operators need certainty before committing to a project, with the planning decision a key next step. The site owner will be responsible for marketing the space and agreeing the lease with a cinema operator, with the Council assisting with promoting the opportunity to interested operators and getting the best offer for Highams Park residents and town centre.

What happens next?

The statutory consultation period will run for 21 days from Monday 4 March 2024. The Council will continue to accept and fully consider consultation comments right up until the application goes to the Council’s Planning Committee later this year. The Council will provide further details on the Committee meeting once this is agreed.

History and project background

The Highams Park Electric Theatre first opened on Saturday 1 April 1911. It was designed by architect W.A. Lewis and had a seating capacity of 550. It was renamed Regal Cinema in 1928, and the building was improved in 1933.

In 1935, it was partly rebuilt to the plans of the architectural firm Howes and Jackman. It received a new modern Art Deco style facade and entrance foyer. A cafe was added in the circle foyer and a Rutt 3Manual/6Ranks organ was installed in the modernised and enlarged auditorium, which now seated 615. The Regal Cinema reopened on Saturday 23 September 1935.

Always independently operated, the Regal Cinema closed on Wednesday 11 September 1963.

Since then it has been used as a bingo hall, snooker hall and on occasions for showing films.

On Tuesday 31 October 2017, the Council received  Planning application reference number 173877, relating to the redevelopment of The Regal and adjoining site to provide: 

  • two cinema screens
  • an ancillary cafe bar and restaurant on the ground floor level (Use Class A3)
  • a total of 30 residential apartments (22 X one bedroom, 6 x two bedroom and 2 x three bedroom)

On Tuesday 20 March 2018, at planning committee there was a resolution to grant planning permission subject to relevant planning conditions and a legal agreement.

Following this committee, the site was bought by Mammoth Capital with request for some changes to the planning conditions and the heads of terms in the legal agreement, whereby this application was then re-presented to planning committee for approval of requested changes. On completion of the legal agreement a formal decision was then issued for planning application reference 178377 on the 2nd November 2021. Mammoth Capital has since held public engagement on its updated proposals which have now been submitted as a new planning application to the Council.


  • October 2017: Planning application 173877 was registered.
  • March 2018: Planning Committee resolved to grant planning permission for application 173877 subject to conditions and a legal agreement. 
  • November 2018: Mammoth Capital buys the site.
  • July 2020: Application 173877 re-presented to Planning Committee to agree amendments to the previous proposal legal agreement. Planning Committee resolved to grant planning permission. Read the report presented to Planning Committee (PDF) which starts on page 125.
  • November 2021, formal decision issued for Planning Application reference 173877.
  • December 2022: Mammoth Capital carried out a public engagement exercise on its updated proposals for the site.
  • February 2024: New planning application received from Mammoth Capital - Planning Application reference number 240280.
  • Monday 4 March 2024: New planning application registered and consultation with residents begins for 21 days.