Plaza Cinema

201 Northam Road, Northam,
Southampton, SO14

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crumweed
crumweed on June 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

There are inaccuracies in Simon Overton’s description above. The Plaza was not beside the River Test,it was beside the River Itchen,& it was not a rickety wooden bridge, it was an iron bridge, which was replaced by a concrete bridge in about 1952,& still stands. This required taking practically all of the front car park, because the new bridge was built alongside the old bridge,which would be demolished later . I should know,I lived & played right next to the Plaza for 27 years, & I was still there when it became Southern TV. Three times a week there was a change to the films, which always came to the Plaza after they had previously been shown at the Odeon in the town centre. On Sundays there was always the regular serial . Flash Gordon with Buster Crabbe was the one I remember well. There were the Saturday morning shows…6d downstairs, 9d upstairs. On your birthday you would be given a free ticket & you could take a friend to any priced seat free of charge. Sometimes you would get free Knick knacks on your way out. I remember getting the paper rocket making kit to promote “Journey to the Moon”. Yes, & there were the American comic swaps, but the date on the comic was the all important thing. You could never swap last years for this years. The site is now flattened, with the ground level being raised higher than it was beside the river Itchen, probably because of the increased risk of flooding these days, in preparation for another lot of new housing. This Northam area had experienced flooding in the past, but before my time Martin .uk

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on March 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm

A mid 1950’s school chum of mine, John Bettinson, recently e-mailed me with some of his memories of the Plaza… which he “loved”. He and hundreds of other kids, who attended the Saturday morning programmes, for an admission charge of (6d) sixpence, often swapped popular American comics with each other after the show.

John also stated that he thought the Plaza had the biggest cinema screen (not London?) on England’s south coast.

I would personally appreciate anyone who could verify that with factual information as well as auditorium photos.