Hollywood Plaza Cinema

159 N. Marine Road,
Scarborough, YO12 7HU

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Hollywood Plaza Cinema

Additional Info

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Previous Names: North Bay Cinema

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 440172.350.7567

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Hollywood Plaza Cinema

Opened in 1918 the North Bay Cinema was an elegant Edwardian hall with a single balcony. It thrived with silent films but being outside the town centre struggled out of season and closed - probably before being converted to sound.

It then was stripped out and became a garage until the 1980’s when Arthur Turner, seeking a home for the 3 manual/8 ranks Wurlitzer organ (with grand piano) that he had bought (when it was removed from the Ipswich ABC Cinema) reconverted the old cinema back for film usage.

Now it has a single steep bank of seats and is known as the Hollywood Plaza. Unfortunately all the plasterwork was lost long ago so the resulting auditorium is a little plain but is still a fine place to watch a film.

Sadly the Wurlitzer organ (and its ‘ghost piano’ had little use and was removed in 20008 going into storage. It was announced in October 2018 the instrument would be removed from storage and installed in the Plaza Cinema Waterloo, Crosby north of Liverpool. Installation will take pace in early-2019.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

wingrave on December 27, 2005 at 11:19 am

It’s one of my 2 local cinemas “the other being the 2,200 seat Futurist Cinema” run by Barrie Stead for the past few years. Barrie took out the aging projectors and mirror-reflectors used to project films and installed new equipment with Dolby stereo and made a nice job of it! I don’t think the organ has been played more than a couple of times since he took the cinema over – but everything seems “intact”. The new “young” audience wouldn’t relate to the half hour organ recital Arthur Turner used to give before his evening performance, which was mainly 2nd or 3rd run mainstream films – so maybe this is the reason for the organ being mothballed.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on March 16, 2007 at 7:13 pm

To borrow the expression, your cinema looks “absolutely fabulous!” My congratulations on your accomplishments, especially with the use of CURTAINS. No show is complete without the use of stage curtains. It’s the magic as to what is about to happen behind them.

Get that organ back out from mothballs and play it… we do at Disney’s fabulous EL CAPITAN THEATRE in Hollywood. All audiences are treated to half-an-hour before each show (of the former San Francisco FOX)pipe organ and the young audiences are asstounded as to what “grandpa” invented for us a century or more ago!!!

And don’t forget the follow spotlight as the console sinks slowly into the orchestra pit… the applause (in San Francisco’s CASTRO THEATRE) gives me goosebumps and tears of joy.

Mrque on August 31, 2007 at 6:54 pm

I worked in the cinemas from a young age and in all those years I never heard anyone call the stage curtains, curtains. They were always knows as “The Tabs” the lights round the sides and over the screen was called the “Prossarch” and the ones on the bottom the “Foot lights” In the projection room the turntable for playing records was known as the “nonesink”. I don’t know if any of these terms still survive today. I very much doubt it as the cinemas I have visited recently don’t even have Tabs. Showmanship in cinemas is none exsistant today. When I was a projectionist I’d been taught to time the ending of the music with the dimming of the lights, and the British Board of Census appearing just as the Tabs were opened ready for the start of the film. I’ve never seen inside a modern day projection room but I understand the complete film is on one reel so doing away with change overs. Phew how things have changed.

AustinWilkie on October 22, 2007 at 11:41 am

I would be very interested in seeing and playing (if still playable) the Wurlitzer Organ if this would be possible some time. I played the Compton organ in the Capital Cinema when part of the Aberdeen Theatre Organ Trust. Sadly the Cinema is no more and the Organ is not playable. My videos using my own theatre organ can be seen on www.youtube.com under “austin’s organ”.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Austin Wilkie

Ian on December 14, 2007 at 8:16 am

Another view of the Hollywood Plaza here :–

View link

manniemain on December 9, 2017 at 11:22 am

I too have happy memories of playing the Capitol organ and the beautiful albeit run down cinema in which it was found. Good to remember that the ATOT is still in existence and trying to find a new home for the Compton. Until that happy day I remain over 200 miles from my nearest theatre organ and only get to play them when in America :–(

BobWalton on January 11, 2018 at 10:58 am

It is 100 years' old in 2018. A century is cause for celebration!

madorganplayer on April 10, 2019 at 4:50 am

The Wurlitzer organ was actually removed from Scarborough in 2008.It just escaped being broken up for parts.It was removed and stored in St Leonards near Hastings pending installation in a school in Robertsbridge just outside Hastings.Unfortunately a change in management cancelled the plans and it has stayed in store ever since.January 2019 sees it all removed up north with the major windchests just taken to Cornwall to be restored.After 80 years it needs a MAJOR restoration.In fact its borderline only good for parts. The Plaza Hollywood is very interested in the Crosby installation.

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