View Full Version : Archived: Plaza Cinema, Port Talbot - March 08

28-10-2008, 06:57 PM
Just thought i'd make some of my older reports available on line as they've all been deleted from the forum they were originally posted on Visited with Dreamworx and Pob (the south wales one)

The Plaza Cineam in Port Talbot was built during 1939 and first opened at Easter 1940 seating 1447 the cinema always operated as an independednt not linked to any of the major chains. The cinema was once the main entertainment venue of local area but as the years pased it became a typical single screen "Flea pit" finding it hard to compete with the larger cinemas in Swansea and Neath, It closed as a cinema in 1983 with a showing of Tootsie and was converted to a Bingo Hall. The Plaza reopened as a Cinema on the 18th October 1985 with a showing of Peter Pan during the following few years the cinema was converted from a single screen to a four screens with the stalls converted into three screens seating 450, 165 and 120 people and a fourth screen in the circle seating 280. The cinema was finaly closed in 1999, following the opening of the Apollo multiplex cinema just down the road. The final film to be screened at the Plaza was Disney''s Prince of Egypt. The cinema has stood empty since then it is protected with a grade II listing which has made redevelopent very difficult, I beleve its currently owned by the local council.

I first spotted the Plaza abut 6 months ago then it was sealed up tight and seemed impossible, a quick look last week showed up a posible access point but the position of the Police CCTV cameras made an attempt impossible. As we were in the area today Dreamworx, Pob and myself decided to take another look, The CCTV was pointing in the opposite direction so we gave it a go and qiuckly found ourselves standing inside. The main screen in the converted stalls has been stripped away exposing the large ripped main screen, also the front wall of the circle screen has been removed leaving the seats visible to the main hall once again, so we could only find evidenc of three of the cinemas later screens today, the two small screens in the stalls had an ingenious periscope arangement for projectors in the main projector booth to project the film on to an angled mirror which was then deflected by a second mirror on the the screen on the floor below. Unfortunalty no projectors in place but there was a back light and some mercury arc rectifiers still in place along with a store cupboard full of films and trailers, But my favorite find was the usherette trays, Pob had never even heard of an usherette.

We got quite a bit of attention from the local press over this one always seems to be the cinemas.

More photos and a better discription available on my website www.forlornbritain.co.uk/plaza.php





Ticket Box

Ice Cream's

Main Screen






Screen 3



Screen 4


Main Projection Booth


Usherette's Trays.

Film Store