Scottish Cinemas and Theatres

Edinburgh Cinemas
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(originally ABC Regal)
Lothian Road

ABC's Edinburgh flagship opened 1938 as the Regal. A description of the cinema not long after opening was featured in Ideal Kinema in April 1939:

ABC's Edinburgh Regal
Exterior Designed to Achieve Harmony with Surrounding Buildings
Interior Maintains The Unpretentious Note

ABC's recently opened Edinburgh picture house, the Regal, preserves in its grey stone exterior the character which makes up the charm of the Northern city. Above its entrance hall height its appearance is that of an office building, its window spaces suggesting the commerical rather than the entertainment type of building.

Black marble used for the street level with doors set on the corner where the streets meet and a canopy extending well over the whole entrance area. A name sign is set on the canopy itself.

The spacious interior is unpretentious, a severity of treatment being generally noticeable except at the proscenium end, where the side walls attract attention. A delicately executed panel is a feature of this decoration and beyond this a louvred space, divided by horizontal bands, is flanked by smaller grille features.

Curtains give a rich appearance, the outer tabs bearing an appliqued design in various coloured satins and slightly festooned.

Archive interior images above courtesy of Dusashenka.

The screen borders and curtains are also festooned and the wing curtains plain gathered. Hall and Dixon, Ltd., was responsible for these and for the general house curtains in various materials. Carpets and floor coverings were also laid by Hall and Dixon.
Ross projectors are installed with Western Electric Mirrophonic, and a Hewittic twin-bulb rectifier with an output of 150 amps at 100 volts DC suplies the arc.
A chloride battery of 48 sealed-in cells operated on a 100-volt floating battering system supplies emergency lighting.

The Regal was tripled and renamed the ABC Film Centre in 1969. Later the Cannon Film Centre. Closed in 2000, with auditorium entirely demolished. Main picture above courtesy of Harry Rigby, as is this picture taken of the exterior when an ABC.

Photos of the projection rooms when this was the ABC / Cannon in the 1990s are here, courtesy of Andy Simmonds.

Exterior on closing night
Photo: Kenny Duncan

Projection on closing night
Photo: Kenny Duncan

Screen 2
Photo: Darren Manson

Screen 3
Photo: Darren Manson

Now rebuilt behind the retained facade as an office development, it incorporates a 5-screen Odeon miniplex in the basement.

This opened late 2003 (the opening was delayed due to construction problems - possibly not unconnected with the fact the site used to be a canal basin, and the ABC basement was always prone to flooding...).
The older (facade) part of the building is listed, Category B.

Official Odeon website at

ABC (Regal) Film Centre
Cinema 1 (35mm  & 70mm) From 1956 onwards Philips DP70’s (35/70mm Projectors) then Philips DP75 (35/70mm Projector) with Philips Non Rewind system. Philips and Dolby SR
Cinema 2, (35mm  & 70mm) Philips DP75 Philips Non Rewind system. Dolby SR
Cinema 3, (35mm only) Philips FP20. Philips Non Rewind system. Dolby Stereo

Odeon Miniplex
35mm only
Cinemas 1-4 Cinemeccanica Victoria 5 with Christie Non Rewind system

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