Welcome to “Vella Plaza”, originally “The Plaza Movie Theatre”, located at 108 Mulgrave Road, Cairns, Queensland.
“The Plaza Movie Theatre” building was officially opened on the 9th October 1940. It was designed to seat 600 patrons and was built by the “QLD Building and Construction Co”. The construction supervisor, Mr Cavanagh, stated:
“This fine building is constructed with the most modern lines, equipped with the most modern electric devices for operating the curtains and provides a pleasing blend of green & gold colours”.
The opening address was a gala affair jointly presented by his worship the Mayor, Alderman Collins, and the Manager of Northern Theatre Pty Ltd, Mr J.S. Morris. The first movie shown was the “Wizard of Oz”.
The building opened in uncertain times, as by 1940 the Second World War had commenced and Cairns had become an Army base for a large contingent of American and Australian soldiers. As a gesture of goodwill, the troops were invited to watch the movies at reduced prices, with the proceeds diverted to supporting Australian troops defending the British Empire.