Original 1932 installation
First Compton with illuminated surround
The Plaza Centre was opened on 6th October 1932 as a combined Cinema and Theatre. The Plaza is an architectural gem. It is a unique Grade II* Listed building that has survived almost intact. The interior is 1930’s Art Deco with 95% of the theatre lighting concealed. Much of the decor reflects an Egyptian theme which was in vogue at the time of its construction. It is now nationally recognised as the best surviving example of a 1930’s Super Cinema in the north of England.
One of the greatest assets of Plaza is its organ, which has survived intact and in full working order. The Plaza organ was designed by Norman Cocker (of Tuba Tune fame) and built by John Compton Organ Co. Ltd.
It was one of the first Compton Theatre Organs to be built with decorative glass panels, illuminated in various colours. The three manual console with glass surround has a total of 150 stop-keys which are grouped according to chamber location rather than tonal function. The 11 ranks of pipes are situated in two chambers, one over the other, concealed behind the decorative grill in the wall to the right of the stage.