Tuesday, 16 June 2009


Plaza CinemaToday my landlords Clwyd Alyn Housing Assoc held a get-together of tenants at Rhyl Town Hall and I went along to do a history talk. Rhyl is barely 200 years old and doesn’t have a long history. Chester, for the sake of comparison, dates back more than 2,000 years. Rhyl is a spotty and wayward teenager of a town that thinks it is grown-up but is not really mature yet.

The pace of change in Rhyl is fast and furious compared with inland towns such as Denbigh and Ruthin. In the last few years we have seen the arrival of Drift Park, departure of Ocean Beach Fun Fair, destruction of The Grange in East Parade, erection of new blocks of flats in West Parade and so on.

Pictured above is a slide from the talk. It shows The Piazza restaurant on a corner of High Street and Sussex Street. Previously the building was Plaza Cinema (1931-1984). Before that, in Victorian times, the entire corner was occupied by Royal Hotel. The hotel sold some of its space to accommodate the Plaza, and then eventually disappeared altogether.


WED 22nd JUL 015 UPDATE: In the days of Plaza Cinema there was a side-exit that would take you almost into the Royal Hotel before depositing you in High Street. On the opposite side of the street I can just about remember the Crown Hotel (Foulkes’ Bar) which I learned subsequently had incorporated the former Manchester Arms.