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Latitude: 53.2625 / 53°15'45"N
Longitude: -2.5073 / 2°30'26"W
OS Eastings: 366255
OS Northings: 374069
OS Grid: SJ662740
Mapcode National: GBR BZXQ.Z5
Mapcode Global: WH99C.G886
Plus Code: 9C5V7F7V+23
Entry Name: Plaza Bingo Club
Listing Date: 5 October 2000
Last Amended: 16 October 2000
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1385195
English Heritage Legacy ID: 485657
Location: Northwich, Cheshire West and Chester, CW9
County: Cheshire West and Chester
Civil Parish: Northwich
Built-Up Area: Northwich
Traditional County: Cheshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire
Church of England Parish: Witton (or Northwich) St Helen
Church of England Diocese: Chester
SJ67SE WITTON STREET
Plaza Bingo Club
Bingo club, built as the Plaza cinema in 1928 for Cheshire County Cinemas Ltd.
Architects: William and Segar Owen of Warrington; job architect probably Geoffrey Owen (1887-1965).
Brick with steel frame, rendered to front, pitched roof. Double-height auditorium with rear balcony. The frame may have been one specially devised to withstand subsidence, a feature of Northwich because of its salt working industry.
EXTERIOR: Symmetrical neo-Classical facade standing on a plinth, the central part breaking forward as a serliana with a portico in antis. The portico is approached by five steps so that the entrance, on the inner wall, is level with the top of the plinth. There are two sets of glazed entrance doors, above which is more glazing with diagonal cross-frame glazing bars. Flanking the portico are more areas of similar style glazing. A canopy over the entrance extends to the full width of the projecting area. Above is a frieze, a cornice and then the upper part of the portico in which there is a plaster sculptural group representing a film camera supported by putti, seen against a half-moon device of scrolling plaster, rosettes and honeysuckle. The outer face of the portico has arabesque type plaster decoration with a scrolling keystone. The serliana is surmounted by another cornice and a parapet and its spandrels are enlivened with square panels and roundels. The flanking wings are simply treated with the cornices extending from the projecting section, the wall areas broken in fielded panels. An attic storey with three windows and a stepped cornice lies back from the facade. The pitched roof of the auditorium can be seen rising above the wings. The facade rendering extends a short distance along the return walls; in the right-hand wall are an emergency exit door and two windows in the upper storey. The infilled steel framing of the auditorium is visible further back.
INTERIOR: The small entrance foyer has stairs to the balcony, the metal balustrades of which are of neo-Classical inspiration incorporating circles and ellipses. There is also an original panelled timber and glass pay-box. The side walls of the long double-height auditorium are broken at regular intervals by pilasters with composite capitals combining volutes with the anthemion motif. Between them, low-relief plaster simulates fabric drapes. At the entrance end is a shallow, straight-fronted balcony, with low steppings, while at the other is a segmental topped proscenium bounded by fielded panels and flanked by narrow double doors which serve as emergency exits. There is a simple barrel ceiling divided by plaster mouldings. Shallow stage. Narrow double-doors in the balcony with mouldings of rectangles of rectangles and circles. The balcony seats preserve original material of mottled crushed velvet.
ANALYSIS: A well-preserved example of a cinema dating from the late 1920s, with an exceptionally scholarly neo-Classical facade. The Owens were among the leading architects of Port Sunlight, and a notable local practice. There are many original features both internally and externally, and it is a survivor of unusual completeness. Films ceased in the 1960s.
Andrew Richardson, `Cheshire County Cinemas', in Picture House, no.11, Cinema Theatre Association, winter 1987-8, pp.15-16
Listing NGR: SJ6625574069
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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