194 Allerton Road,
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Architects: Arthur Ernest Shennan
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Plaza Cinema, Gaumont, Odeon
Located in the Allerton district of Liverpool at the corner of Allerton Road and Garthdale Road. The Plaza Cinema was opened on 31st March 1928 with Adolph Menjou in “Sorrows of Satan”. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels. Although built for the J.F. Wood circuit, it was taken over at opening by the General Theatre Corporation(GTC) chain, which was a subsidiary of Gaumont British Theatres(GB). In August 1928, a Wurlitzer organ was installed, which was an instrument transferred from the London Paladium, and was opened by organist Reginald Foort.
An RCA sound system was installed in September 1929, the first talkie to be screened was “The Valiant” starring Paul Muni.
The Plaza Cinema was re-named Gaumont on 11th September 1950. CinemaScope was installed in December 1954 when Tony Curtis in “The Black Shield of Falworth” became the first film in that ratio to be screened here. On 25th November 1962 it was re-named Odeon by the Rank Organisation.
One of many Rank cinemas taken over by the Classic Cinemas chain in December 1967, it was re-named Classic and was closed on 10th April 1971 with Peter Sellers in “A Shot in the Dark” and “The Hills Ran Red”.
The building was demolished and a shopping centre was built on the site, which included a new 493-seat Classic Cinema that opened in July 1973. It later operated as the Cannon, Virgin, ABC and finally Odeon, closing in February 2009. (It has its own page on Cinema Treasures)
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