Going To The Pictures

Memories of the opening Gala Night at the Plaza Cinema in 1939

plaza opening brochure 1939 web

Jessica Irene Sexton was born in 1917; her family then lived in a small cottage in Vale Road, Crosby, opposite St. Luke’s Church. In the 1930s Rene, as she liked to be known, went into domestic service. She worked for a family in a house called ‘Graigmin’, situated on the corner of Mariners Road, Crosby. This house is still there and is now a Doctor’s surgery. On her days off, Rene used to meet friends at the bottom of South Road, Waterloo.

One day Rene met a young man, who was on leave from the Merchant Navy. He invited her to the pictures next evening. There was great local excitement, as a new cinema was opening that night. That cinema was the Plaza, on Crosby Road North, Waterloo. It was a Gala Night, the Lord Mayor was present and the audience were given souvenir programmes. The film shown was ‘South Riding, the star was Ralph Richardson. The young couple decided to meet again the next week. The date was 2nd September 1939! Sadly, war was declared next day and the Plaza closed.

Rene never saw her sailor friend again. It was assumed he had been recalled to the Navy. Rene later joined the A.T.S. and due to her skills at cooking she became a cook to the officers’ mess, made many friends and enjoyed service life

Memories of Jessica Irene Sexton – submitted by Alice Molloy.