Scottish Cinemas and Theatres

Glasgow Cinemas - Seamore Cinema, Maryhill Road

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Seamore Picture House
220, Maryhill Road (New City Road)

"You'll see more at the Seamore!"

The Seamore opened in December 1914, and was designed by GA Boswell & RA Thomas for AE Pickard. Described on opening as 'the greatest achievement in popular entertainment', it originally sat 1,942. As befits a cinema designed for Pickard, the Seamore was an unusual building. The large, fan-shaped building was at the junction of Maryhill Road and North Woodside Road, with  a small foyer at the corner, which had a central paybox. Access from here to the auditorium was down a flight of stairs to the... and then up a flight of stairs as the patrons emerged from under the large stage.
Two additional separate entrances and payboxes were at either side of the rear stalls, one at the far end of the Maryhill Road facade, the other on the North Woodside Road side. Access to the balcony was via stairs from these entrances. Unusually, the projection booth was a free-standing structure at the centre rear of the stalls. Above, the ceiling was shaped into an enormous dome.

Entrance Detail

Maryhill Road Facade

Long Section

Ground Floor Plan
1914 plans courtesy of the Scottish Screen Archive and Chris Doak.

The building was altered in 1926, by architect Harry Barnes. Pickard's already unusual cinema now had an illuminated, revolving windmill on the roof, and a large clock on the facade. The auditorium was decorated with a series of nude paintings.

Business was clearly good, as in 1932 the building was expanded further, increasing seating capacity and installing a lift for better access to the balcony.
The Seamore was sold to AB King in April 1935, who modernised the building (and removed the windmill). In 1953 it was the first cinema in the area to be modified for CinemaScope. The building was sold on to CMA (Rank) in April 1955, and struggled on as a cinema until finally closing in 1963. Demolished after a fire in 1968; the site is now empty space and flats.

Exterior picture above was taken circa 1956/7; the same view in 2007 can be seen here.

External Links: has a copy of a AE Pickard-era Seamore programme here.

The Maryhill Road facade of the Seamore features in the background of a shot on the Glasgow Sculpture website, here.

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