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Pocket Guide: Berkhamsted Rex Cinema Hotels

Hertfordshire is not short of old buildings, including everything from early medieval castles and dissolved abbeys to Jacobean stately piles like Hatfield House and innumerable country seats. One of the more interesting modern buildings you may like to see if you're staying in a Hertfordshire hotel near Berkhamsted is the famous Rex Cinema. This Art Deco masterpiece is relatively young by county standards, dating to 1936, but it really is superb and well worth a visit.

Hertfordshire Hotels for the Rex Cinema in Berkhamsted

David Evelyn Nye designed the Rex cinema in the severely colourful yet strangely appealing Art Deco style which was all the rage at the time, just before the World War II. After showing films uninterruptedly for over half a century it was finally closed in 1988 and fell into neglect. Fortunately, English Heritage came to the rescue and designated it as a Grade II listed building following vigorous campaigning by a local entrepreneur, and it reopened in 2004. Today, the Rex is fully operational and independently run, and screens films throughout the year apart from on a handful of public holidays. Its extensive and eclectic programme includes everything from modern blockbusters to vintage classics, and it attracts audiences of all ages. Be sure to pop along for popcorn and a great evening out when you're booked in to a Hertfordshire hotel in the area.

The Berkhamsted Art-Deco Rex Cinema from Hertfordshire Hotels

The cinema's interior has a number of interesting ornate features from when it was first built. The designers Mollo and Egan worked with Nye on the interiors and the Art Deco influence is inescapable. After Zetter took over the site in 1976 many of the old fittings such as the ticket booth and chandelier disappeared, but you can still see light fittings in the shape of scallop shells and a decorative ceiling rose in the foyer. It's all reminiscent of the days before TV, when a trip to the local cinema was a treat to look forward to all week. Be sure to pay a visit to the old place from your Hertfordshire hotel next time you're here.

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