PLAZA CINEMA

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II*

List Entry Number: 1257697

Date first listed: 12-Mar-1997

Statutory Address: PLAZA CINEMA, MERSEY SQUARE

Map

Ordnance survey map of PLAZA CINEMA
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Location

Statutory Address: PLAZA CINEMA, MERSEY SQUARE

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Stockport (Metropolitan Authority)

National Grid Reference: SJ 89372 90272

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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History

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Details

This List entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 09/10/2017

701/15/10007 MERSEY SQUARE, Plaza Cinema

(Formerly Listed as: Former Plaza Cinema)

12-MAR-1997

II*

Cinema (bingo hall when surveyed). Designed in 1929, built 1932-3 to the designs of W Thornley, LRIBA. Brick, clad in faience to front, with much internal structural steelwork. Double-height auditorium set behind narrow entrance facade, set into cliff Facade a symmetrical composition over low entrance. Tall, mostly lind elevation ranged as a series of recessed and projecting planes, in which the small windows are set back in vertical bands and are now blocked. Openwork grilles to either side. Centrepiece with two giant fluted pilasters supporting higher and more decorated parapet than those to either side, with dog-tooth cornice and high frieze. In centre, two pairs of double-doors with Art Deco fountain motif: slight set back.

INTERIOR: Narrow foyer with sunburst-pattern cornice and soffited ceiling leads to large auditorium (originally intended for 1,873 patrons). Similar detailing on staircase. Double- height auditorium with gallery and small stage. Heavily soffitted and panelled ceiling steps down to broad, square proscenium arch with moulded surround, in front of which is shallow semi-dome. A laylight set above the rear circle. Auditorium canted to either side to incorporate sound room for Compton organ -which survives with "jellymould' glass surround in front of stage -and Art Deco grilles topped with anthemion mouldings. Next to either grille, paired columns with Corinthian capitals flank a partially-glazed recess with stepped mouldings. Under these, large plaster friezes of dancing maidens, demonstrating the influence of the 1925 Paris Exhibition of decorative Arts on the mouldings used here. Above all these features a deep, fluted frieze and shell-pattern cornice. Under the circle, the ceiling has a dome and trough lighting. Pilasters over exit doors, with shell-like terminals. To gallery sides, three-bay arcades with square columns and decorative grillework to balustrades. Fluted and curved balcony front. 1930's seats with fluted ends survive in gallery. Timber balustrade at rear. Underneath balcony simpler, but has pilasters with fluted capitals. Above the foyer is a long, first-floor restaurant overlooking the town, with trough lighting in the ceiling on two levels. A narrow passage links the two sides of the circle. The stalls crush lounge below also has a moulded ceiling.

Included as a remarkably lavish exercise in the Art Deco style, with many motifs derived directly from the 1925 Paris Exhibition. These features were enhanced by a sophisticated concealed "Holophane" lighting system, fragments of which survive. This is an exceptionally complete example of a 1930s 'super' cinema, which survives little altered and retains its Compton organ.

Listing NGR: SJ8937290272

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 463552

Legacy System: LBS

End of official listing