Plaza Cinema

208 Gorton Lane,
Manchester, M18 8DA

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Additional Info

Architects: Ernest Ogden

Previous Names: King George V Picturedrome

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Plaza Cinema

This cinema was located on Gorton Lane approximately opposite the junction with Preston Street, in the east Manchester district of West Gorton. The 700-seat King George V Picturedrome was opened in 1912.

Kinematograph Year Book for 1914 lists the King George V Picturedrome on Gorton Lane, seating 800 and run by G. H. Hall. KYB 1928 has the owners as Manchester & District Picture House Co. Ltd. of Cathedral House, Long Millgate, Manchester, whose General Manager was G. Bailey.

It was closed in March 1929 and was reconstructed to the plans of architect Ernest Ogden. However, the KYB 1931 listing is strange. There are two, brief, entries: one is the King George V Picturedrome which now has Electrocord sound; and the other is the Plaza Cinema, West Gorton, with BTP sound and operated by Amusall’s Ltd. This implies KYB had not updated their records as ownership had changed by this time; with a name change and an upgrade to the sound installation.

KYB 1935 has a single entry, which is for the Plaza Cinema in West Gorton operated by Amusall’s Ltd. with bookings by F. Rigg of Parsonage, Manchester. There are a staggering 893 seats. (If you’re thinking ‘two halls’, read on.) The information is repeated in KYB 1937, but the seating has fallen to 640. For the first time the phone number is listed: “East 0425”.

KYB 1942 lists the Plaza Cinema, with the East 0425 phone number, as being on Gorton Lane. Amusall’s Ltd. are listed as the owners with offices at Orme Building, Parsonage, Manchester. They also do the bookings. Seating is still 640.

In KYB 1945 seating has fallen to 600. The owner is now O. Dewhirst who does the bookings. The location is given as Gorton Lane with the East 0425 number. It’s the same information in KYB 1947, but seating has shot up to 750.

In KYB 1950 the Plaza Cinema on Gorton Lane with phone number East 0425 is owned by Almeda Cinema Enterprises Ltd., Bolton. Bookings are by J. Hill “at Manchester”. BA sound has replaced the BTP installation. Seating is now down to 540. This falls to 522 in KYB 1954 and there are new owners: Midland Cinemas (Darlington) Ltd, but bookings are made in Whitehaven, Cumberland, by Bramford Brothers.

The Plaza Cinema was closed in 1957. It was used for several years by Smethurst Organ Builders, and has since been demolished. The site is now part of the Gorton Parks Residential Nursing Home.

Contributed by H J Hill

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

durhamdown on January 2, 2016 at 1:50 pm

The variations in seating accommodation may be because much (most?) of the seating, at least in the 1930s, was on benches, not individual seats. It becomes a matter of judgement how many you can squash onto a bench!

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