VANISHING LONDON: The Plaza Cinema, Lower Regents Street

I liked the Plaza, it was a cheap and cheerful, and like its equally disappeared neighbour, Tower Records, seemed proud of the fact. Actually the Plaza, much like Tower records, wasn’t really all that cheap – but it was one of the few places in the Leicester Square area which did students discounts all weekend.

It was four screen cinema, notable in particular for it one enormous screen. Rarely was this screen tested with blockbuster material, I think I saw Being John Malkovitch there. It also had, annoyingly, a really wide centre aisle which meant you could never quite sit in the middle of the screen. But it was comfy and showed plenty of good films, its arthouse sheds downstairs in particular were home to some good flicks. It partnered the UCI Empire Leicester Square nicely – that was all bombast and crap, the Plaza was all Ben And Jerry’s ice cream and good films. I think I saw a lot of previews there too, back when I was in a desirable demographic.

There is now a Tesco Metro where the Plaza was. I hear rumours (and have seen ads) for the all new Apollo cinema on Lower Regent Street, though this might be in the hole the Odeon Regent Street used to live (less loved cinema which had remarkably seventies d’cor). Anyway, I miss the Plaza, though it is handy to get bottles of drink at supermarket prices on Piccadilly Circus (aka London Square).