Cinematopia: UK picture palaces



* Screen Cinemas

The mock-Tudor Plaza opened in 1929 and was modified to include a circle in 1936. The capacity was reduced from 600 to 440 with the introduction of CinemaScope, as the new screen had to be built in front of the proscenium.


Mainline Cinemas, a small circuit of mostly London-based cinemas which operates the circuit under the name Screen Cinemas, purchased the building as a going concern in 2002. In 2005ish, they bought (leased?) the shop next door in order to expand the foyer with modern concessions sales.

Mainline designs all its cinema interiors in conjunction with Fletcher Priest architects, who report on their website that Oxted runs on "one of the last carbon-arc projectors in the country" requiring a "deft hand" on the part of the projectionist.

It should be reiterated that the Plaza is mock-Tudor, unlike Salisbury Odeon which almost justifies calling itself a genuine Elizabethan cinema.

This was my local cinema, sort of, when I was growing up - I saw my first ever 12-rated film here (it was Ghost). In those days it was known as the Plaza and had an endearingly independent feel to it. It was also the first cinema I'd ever been in that had a circle. No tripling here.

Screen Oxted - 2006 Screen Oxted - 2006

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This page last updated 24th November 2006.