Wednesday, 30 October 2013
P is for Plaza
The Plaza first opened its doors to the public on 7th October 1932, with a charity show for Stockport Infirmary. The films shown were "Jailbird", starring Laurel and Hardy, and "Out of the Blue" with Gene Gerrard and Jessie Matthews.
It was refurbished in the 1950s and could cater for Cinemascope and 3-D. Live entertainment took place on Saturday evenings featuring local musicians and Sunday jazz concerts followed. In 1960, the Plaza staged its first pantomime with the Dallas Boys in "Babes In The Wood".
In 1965 the Plaza was sold to the Mecca Leisure Group for conversion to a bingo hall. Its final show was on 31st December 1966 and featured Jerry Lee Lewis in "Three on a Coach" and Audie Murphy in "The Texican" with William Starr at the organ. In February 1967 it reopened as Mecca Bingo.
In the 1970s the Café Lounge was converted into "Samantha's" nightclub but this later converted into extra bingo seating.
It closed in 1998 and Rank Leisure sold the Plaza to Stockport Plaza Trust in March 2000 and, after massive community and volunteer effort, audiences took their seats for the opening show on 7th October 2000.
In 2009 a £3.2 million pound restoration and refurbishment programme was started. It was closed from February until December.
This photograph was taken in January 2010 shortly after it reopened.
More information can be found on the Plaza's own website.
A contribution to ABC Wednesday.