I WAS most interested in the Then and Now pictures of Sackville Street in the Craven Herald, June 11, especially as I am the owner of the Plaza cinema.

The Plaza hasn't exactly taken the place of the Temperance Hall; it has been converted from it.

Most of what you can see in the recent picture is an extension containing the front steps and balustrade, foyer, toilets and projection room.

In the top left hand corner is the apex of the roof of the original Temperance Hall, which you can also see in the earlier picture.

The Temperance Hall was built in 1873 to the designs of architect Jonathan Varley.

The foundation stone is at the front on the left, but is partly obscured by the extension which we think was added in 1915. There is evidence that occasional film shows were held as early as 1910, but some permanence was given to the enterprise in 1912 when a Mark Morris obtained a lease on the building, naming it the Gem.

In 1928 it was acquired by the Hartley family and remained in their ownership for three generations.

They renovated and reopened it as the Plaza on April 30 that year. "Talkies" arrived on Monday, March 11 1929 with "Home James" starring Laura LaPlante.

It was quite an early installation for a small town. I took over on May 1, 1998. It is believed the building was in continuous use as a cinema from 1912 right up until the recent lockdown.

I very much hope to reopen it soon.

Charles Morris