Gaumont Plaza Cinema

96 Church Street,
Flint, CH6 5AF

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Gaumont Plaza Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the North Wales town of Flint, once the County town of Flintshire. Built for Deeside Enterprises Cinemas, the Plaza Cinema opened on 26th December 1938 with Gracie Fields in "We’re Going to be Rich". The exterior was built in grey brick and was rather ‘boxy’ looking. The only relief being three decorated square grilles above the canopy which contained mythical figures.

Inside the auditorium, seating was provided for 1,100 in stalls and circle. There were silver columns on each side of the 35 feet wide proscenium opening. Above the proscenium were panels which contained signs of the Zodiac, and there were relief figures on the side-walls, again given a silver treatment to allow lighting to be played off them. The ceiling is stepped down in wavy paterns and contained concealed lighting for the elaborate Holophane lighting system.

The Plaza Cinema was taken over by the independent operator Wedgewood Cinemas in December 1967 and the auditorium was re-decorated in two shades of blue with cream trimmings. It was later re-named Wedgewood Cinema. Taken over by Mecca Ltd. on 1st January 1975. Despite local opposition, they were granted a bingo licence and the cinema closed on 1st August 1975 with Victor Garber in "Godspell" and Graham Chapman in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

It then began use as a Mecca Bingo Club which continued for many years. In recent years it has been operated as the Palace bingo club by the same operators as the Palace bingo club in Conwy. It was closed around 2011. It re-opened as the Gaumont Plaza Cinema on 9th December 2016 using 104 seats in the stalls, but will expand to more seats in the future.

The former Plaza Cinema is a Grade II Listed building.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on August 10, 2016 at 6:22 pm

An article this week in the “Daily Post"featured a story about the Plaza.They state that it’s in very good condition considering it’s been derelict since 2010 when it closed as a bingo hall. Films ceased showing in 1975,the photo in the paper (Monday August 8th. 2016)looks very nice. A caretaker has been looking after it with great pride.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on August 10, 2016 at 6:29 pm

I’m surprised no one has as yet commented on such a great looking cinema, I forgot to mention in my first comment that the cinema has still has it’s balcony seats in place.

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on March 14, 2017 at 6:24 am

The Bingo Operator was Parker Bros of Rhyl

popcorn_pete
popcorn_pete on March 17, 2017 at 9:10 pm

Operated by Ashley Whyatt who runs two cinemas in Essex and Kent. The opening film was reputed to be Bridget Jones’s Baby.

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on March 18, 2017 at 7:26 am

popcorn pets He used to have the Ritz Nuneaton

DavidSimpson
DavidSimpson on April 10, 2017 at 9:45 am

On 27th March 2017, when I visited the Gaumont Plaza (to see “Beauty and the Beast”, starring Emma Watson) I was very fortunate to meet operator Ashley Whyatt.

This is, of course, very much a work-in-progress. To get the film shows started, the former stalls have been brought back to life through the construction of a temporary projection box halfway down the centre aisle and the installation of a combination of multiplex seats and two and three-seat settees. 104 patrons can be accommodated, and the extremely comfortable seating has been arranged to provide plenty of leg-room. The scale of the auditorium allows for a huge screen, and I (together with a promisingly large number of patrons) thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

In due course, the projection box will be moved further back, to allow for seating for about 140 patrons, in more conventional rows.

At that time, the temporary box office/concession stand, at the back of the stalls, will be moved into the internal foyer (the original box office, in the outer foyer, is not currently being used).

Meanwhile, the circle has been blocked off, and two 50-seat cinemas are being constructed side by side, Ashley realising, quite rightly, that one single screen is simply not sufficient.

It was lovely to see this cinema coming back to life, and I wished Ashley and his team all the very best.

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