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Cinema Plaza | by B. de Visser
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Cinema Plaza

Of the more than 1000 cinemas, mostly village-cinema's, Flanders once owned, is Cinema Plaza the only one which has survived.

Not touched by the changing times the time stood almost still here.

 

Built in 1923, as first movie theater in the city it enjoyed large popularity amongst the inhabitants.

The original name of the movie theater was ' Het Ankerpaleis' , but when in 1937 a tender for neon characters was a bit too expensive the name was shortened in to the less expensive 'Cinema Plaza'.

 

Not only films were showed here.

Through the year the owner also organized several balls, and in the 50's every 2 weeks there was a revue with conjurers, comedians and well known artists.

 

The golden years like in the 50' s never returned.

In the 1970s, after the son of the owner has taken over the place, it went better for a short period when he decided to show softporno movies, but due to the catholic ideas in the town it didn't last for long.

 

The cinema kept open until 2004, in that year the owner died at the age of 78.

Together with his wife he was the engine behind Cinema Plaza.

At the wooden counter they sold candy, popcorn and soda's.

From far people used to come here to enjoy the atmosphere from the 1930's.

 

For 80 years the owners showed movies here.

Not always the newest, most times the films showed here weeks after the big cinema's did.

 

The building didn't changed much in all these years.

Even the interior is kept.

The projector, built in 1934, did its work for all these years.

  

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Taken on January 21, 2009