8 thoughts on “Grand Pub & The Plaza Theatre

  1. I remember seeing the Al Jolson Story at The Plaza starring Al Jolson in person. Does anyone else remember this film or am I having another senior moment? I also remember A Department of ICI giving a Children’s Christmas Party at the Plaza and I went along with my cousin whose father worked at ICI, Molly Hunter was my cousins name any one remember this Party or my Cousin Molly.


  2. I do remember the Plaza…the ‘flea pit’. We could go to see the films forbidden to children.
    It was said that you had to keep your off the floor as the rats ran underneath. I have to confess I never saw any but did see some good films.
    Lesley walton.


  3. The Plaza had a canopy outside for patrons to stand out of the rain under (on this photo its been removed) It was called ‘the Flea Pit and other names including the Rat Hole, but inside it didn’t appear any different to other cinemas in Stockton, smaller perhaps, and it did get a lot of business. In terms of popularity in Stockton, I would rate the Empire first, The Cinema 2nd, and the Plaza 3rd, for reasons now unknown our family never went to the Globe or the Odeon. And, I can’t say the arrival of the wide screen made much difference, all it meant is they got the first release rights of blockbusters like Shane and The Robe and From Here To Eternity.

    I can recall the arrival of Technicolor, then Cinerama, then Cinemascope, VistaVision, then the ToddAO process, which heralded Around The World in 80 Days, Oklahoma, South Pacific and the Sound of Music. With regard to the Sound of Music, this film indicates how Hollywood film makers liked to emboider the truth: Take for instance the real von Trapps family depicted in this film: Maria came to the von Trapp family in 1926 as a tutor for one of the children, there were 10, not 7 von Trapp children. the Captain was an Italian not German and his wife and children as well. Maria and the Captain married in 1927, the family was musically inclined before Maria arrived, and she taught them little, these kids were already a show-business savvy family. The family did not secretly escape over the Alps to freedom in carrying their suitcases and musical instruments, they left by train for Broadway, NY. When they left Austria, the family had already arranged a singing contract with an American booking agent, who paid their fare to America. Even worse the real Maria (unlike the fictional Sister Maria from the Abbey) tended to throw things, and slam doors, and in a 2003 interview, she was described as having a terrible temper. So much for the essential truths in films?)


  4. It’s no wonder the usher came round with a “bug spray” cos when I was younger this cinema was known as the “flea pit”. Having said that some of the films shown were not on general release, so you got to see flicks that you would not normally see.


  5. This brings back memories of when, as a boy, I would occasionally go to see a film at the Plaza. The cheapest seats were at the front and consisted of a padded bench. After the film had started it was common practice to move back into the proper seats, hopefully without being seen by the usherettes.


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