Mr Monkey tours the Stockport Plaza Cinema, 12th September
"He just popped up out of nowhere!"
Mr Monkey scampered into the stalls and sat down. The manager of the Plaza appeared to welcome him (and everyone) to the Plaza's first Heritage Open Day, then introduced the organist who played the organ while rising up from the orchestra pit. Mr Monkey watched a short vintage newsreel, then listened to a short talk about the history of the cinema and its restoration. After that, the eager crowd split up into a number of groups - Mr Monkey suspects the Plaza had more visitors than they'd expected - to tour the building.
1929 : First planning application made
1932 : Plaza Cinema opens
1965 : Purchased by Mecca Group
1966 : Closes as cinema
1967 : Reopens as Bingo Hall
1997 : Listed Grade II by English Heritage
1999 : Bingo Hall closes
2000 : Listed Grade II* by English Heritage
2000 : Purchased by Stockport Plaza Trust
2005 : Restoration plans start
2007 : Heritage Lottery Fund approves £1.9million towards Stage 1 of restoration
2009 : Plaza closes for restoration in February
2009 : Plaza reopens in December after £3.2million restoration