Ainsley Gommon Architects


Plaza Community Cinema


Crosby, Liverpool



Date Completed

Winter 2008

Development Overview

Today the Plaza Cinema in Crosby is owned and managed by Plaza Community Cinema. The cinema originally opened in 1939 but was immediately closed again on the same day due to regulations introduced because of the outbreak of war.

The cinema today retains many of its Art Deco features but the internal layout of the cinema was changed in 1976, when it was re-laid out to house three screens from the original single screen.

Ainsley Gommon was approached by the Plaza Community Cinema to help them secure planning approval and Listed Building Consent for a new external lighting design. We worked together with a local sign manufacturer and electrical contractor to design and gain successful planning approvals for dramatically lighting the main elevation of the building, which faces Crosby Road North.

The project was funded through the National Lottery “People’s Millions” by winning a television vote for the scheme which was named ‘Facelift for the Smallest Show on Earth’.

The lighting design enhances the external form and original decorative features, which carry the familiar Art Deco style and typical of cinema buildings constructed in the 1930’s.

The Plaza Cinema, which is an independent, volunteer-run cinema aims to keep films affordable for the local community, as well as offering a range of Arts and Education activities, and the occasional special event.