Plaza Cinema

James Mather Street,
South Shields, NE33 2DN

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Additional Info

Previous Names: St. Thomas's Hall, Imperia Cinema

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Located on what was originally named James Mather Terrace. The Old Royal Assemby Hall was built in 1889. On 4th August 1896 for 5 days, it presented the “Animatograph” showing moving pictures, and had been re-named St. Thomas’s Hall. On Sunday’s it was used as a Sunday School. By the 6th December 1909 it was screening pictures, with variety acts on the stage, which lasted until 1914, when it went over to full time cinema use.

It was wired for sound on 14th October 1931 and by 1937 had been equipped with a Gaumont-Kalee sound system. In the late-1930’s it was re-named Imperia Cinema and closed in August 1942 to be renovated.

It re-opened on 3rd September 1942 as the Plaza Cinema with Jeanette McDonald in “Smilin' Through”. The cinema suffered damage from a fire on 6th March 1955 and was closed until 10th September 1955 to allow for repairs to be carried out, re-opening with Jane Wyman in “Magnificent Obsession”.

The Plaza Cinema was closed on 2nd May 1958 with Audie Murphy in “The Guns of Fort Petticoat”.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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