AN historic cinema has been forced to temporarily close its doors after serious structural defects were discovered.

The decision to close the Redcar Regent has galvanised campaigners' resolve to keep the distinctive seafront venue open.

At the moment, the plan is to re-open the cinema once the structural repairs has been carried out.

A joint statement issued by the Regent manager, Neil Bates and leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council, Councillor Sue Jeffrey said: “A routine condition survey of the Regent Cinema in Redcar has highlighted some structural issues with the building and in the interests of the safety of the public we have been forced to temporarily close the cinema pending further expert investigations.

“Preliminary works and a structural survey will begin immediately in order to fully investigate the extent of the problem. During the investigation and reporting period the building will unfortunately be closed to the public.

“We remain committed to working together to secure the long term future of the cinema which is a key and unique asset for the area and will do everything we can to re-open it for the summer season.”

In 2014 a campaign was launched to protect the cinema from closure amid rumours there were plans afoot for a multiplex venue in the town.

At the time an online campaign “Save The Regent Cinema” was launched as the community rallied round to support the venue.

And as a result, it re-opened its doors after the exterior was repainted, had its roof repaired and an illuminated LCD sign was installed.

And the town’s MP, Anna Turley, has spoken to the council bosses to ensure they fight to keep the cinema open.

She said: “They are in no way intending to close the building permanently and told me they are committed to securing its long-term future. Of course no one wants to see customers put at any risk and the Regent experience should be as safe and enjoyable as possible.

“The council have told me they hope the work will be completed in a timescale that will allow the regent to reopen for the summer season. I will be asking for regular updates on this to make sure everything is on schedule.

“The community response has been fantastic and it just shows how much love there is for this wonderful, iconic building on our sea front.”

It is hoped the venue will re-open in the summer.