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Progress on Plaza plans
AS Northwich’s last working cinema is reduced to a pile of rubble, hope finds a new seat at former cinema and bingo hall, the Plaza.
The Grade II listed building, in Witton Street, was operating as a cinema before the Regal, in London Road, opened its doors in 1939.
A community group, called Northwich Cinema Trust, has been working to reopen the Plaza for two years as a community heritage cinema for Northwich.
The group managed to secure a number of seats from the Regal before demolition began.
Gillian Edwards, from the trust, said: “The project is progressing very well, given the requirement for a full re-wire of the building, the architect has drawn up the first set of plans which will enable electrician to produce drawings and costings.
“Progress is slow due to the listed status of the building, but we have to see this as a positive as the building will therefore be retained for generations.
“It is extremely sad to witness the demolition of the Regal and recall all the memories that we have there but it has been sad to watch it erode over the years and this now heralds a very exciting time in the history of Northwich – the opening of the Plaza and all the forthcoming developments.”
She added: “Securing the seats form Regal has been a key priority of the board from the outset to retain a legacy from the Regal within the Plaza, this will be further enhanced with photographs etc.
“Our immense thanks to the demolition company, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Coopers transport and Mid Cheshire College for facilitating the removal and transport of the seats.
“The seats were vital to the project as cinema seats to purchase cost £200 each and given that this is a community project, it simply wouldn't have been feasible in the short timescale – it was very touch and go but this is an amazing achievement for our town.”
The project is being run by volunteer professionals.
Gillian will be at the next Northwich Community Forum to give a presentation and answer questions.
The forum takes place at Northwich Memorial Hall on Thursday, February 7 with a market place session from 5.30pm and the main meeting from 6pm to 7.30pm.