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Plaza Kinema
Johannesburg, Gauteng

Werner WAGNER: Design Architect

Street:Rissik St

(S M R Dec 1931:117-19)

Cumming George 1933

THE architectural scheme of the Johannesburg Plaza follows lines of lovely simplicity without flamboyant details to distract the eye. The lighting features are of the most modern design and the seating especially comfortable.

The centre of the roof is set with cream acoustic tiles on which are panelled Orpheus with his lute. Underneath the gallery the roof has been arranged in three levels with cove lighting along the edge of each semi-circular sweep.

The main colour throughout the building is the neutral shade of French caenstone relieved by touches of gold, silver and blue.

The dome of the building is treated with the same acoustic material, although actually the building has, of course, been specially designed to get the best acoustic effects.

The seats are upholstered in blue and the carpet is blue. The curtains are a silver grey. The teak and walnut joinery is a very beautiful feature.

The foyer is unique of its kind, the walls throughout being of Travertin marble.

The refreshment room is treated in light green.


The Plaza Kinema is probably the first significant modern building in South Africa. Though essentially modern, it retains residual classicism in its general proportions, its vertical fins like a giant order, and in its cornice. This building stands between classicism and uncompromising modernity; it heralds the new, yet nostalgically clings to the old. (Bernard S Cooke in UIA, 1985: 58)

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books that reference Plaza Kinema

Beck, Haig (Editor). 1985. UIA International Architect : Southern Africa (Issue 8). London: International Architect. pg 58
Cumming-George, L. 1933. Architecture in South Africa - Volume One. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pg 45-46