High Street and Albert Road,
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Previously operated by: Odeon Theatres Ltd., Rank Organisation, S.M. Super Cinemas, Ltd.
Architects: Stephen H. Egan, Walter Emden
Firms: Emden & Egan
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Plaza Cinema
The Plaza Cinema was located at 125-127 High Street at the corner of Albert Road. It was opened on 29th April 1929 with Lillian Hall-Davis in “Tommy Atkins” & Bebe Daniels in “Hot News”. The attractive building was faced in white tiles and the corner entrance feature was topped by a large dome. Inside the auditorium seating was provided for 1,500 in the stalls and 560 in the circle. The proscenium was 48ft wide and the stage was 18 feet deep. There were four dressing rooms. The Plaza Cinema was equipped with a Compton 2Manual/8Ranks organ which was opened by organist W.J. Hemsley. There was also a cafe/restaurant and a car park for 250 cars. It was equipped with a RCA sound system on 8th July 1929 when Al Jolson in “The Singing Fool” was screened.
The Plaza Cinema was taken over by Oscar Deutsch’s chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. on 28th September 1936 and it was re-named Odeon on 12th October 1936. From October 1936 and into the 1950’s Sunday concerts were held attracting big band names such as:Geraldo, Joe Loss, Billy Cotton & Ken Mackintosh.
The Compton organ was renovated in March 1945 and was removed from the building in 1960, and was installed in the Victoria Hall Evangelical Church, Wandsworth in south London. The Odeon had become part of the Rank Organisation and was closed on 30th November 1963 with Jean Seberg & Stanley Baker in “In the French Style” and Ian Hendry in “Girl in the Headlines”. The Odeon name was transfered to the nearby (more modern) Gaumont on Watford’s High Street.
The Odeon was demolished in February 1964 and a new building on the site contained a Caters supermarket and Top Rank Suite, which later became a disco/nightclub.
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Recent comments (view all 3 comments)
Hope I have matched the right picture..
That is the one Mike. This was probably the best of Watfords cinemas, judging from photographs, as I never actually went in here.
I do remember going around Caters Supermarket which replaced it though!
I am working just up the street from here.When i go round the corner past this site with the Oceania nightclub there is an Iceland.Above the shop is a fascia which to me looks as if it belongs to the cinema.I will try and post a picture.So maybe this section was demolished.The nightclub appears to be closed.