|The La Scala cinema was situated immediately opposite the Regal in
Hamilton Street, and was Kemps first purpose built cinema in the area
when it opened on 6th October, 1913.
On the occasion of its golden jubilee in 1963 it again showed Quo Vadis. La Scala was twinned in the 1970s and continued as a cinema until a few years ago when it became a Weatherspoons public house. The interior is now unrecognisable as a cinema.
Click here for an archive shot courtesy of Norrie Mcnamee, or here for one c.1996 from Chris Doak. Modern image above courtesy of Graham Kelly.
Golden Jubilee image courtesy of Michael J. Timmons.
|Michael J. Timmons remembers:
"The Regal was one of the first cinemas in Scotland to be equipped with Cinemascope in the mid 1950s and then with 70mm equipment in 1970. The first 70mm film shown was "Ice Station Zebra" and this made a spectacular impression, especially the scenes on the arctic ice.
I used to carry an Lyons Maid ice cream tray around the Regal and LaScala from the age of about 11 until my mid-20s. We were paid only commission of two shillings in the pound. In those days, when ice cream tubs, orange maids or choc ices were only 6d each (2 1/2 new pence) the ice cream boys ( there was one full time and several of us part time) could make up to £15/week when busy popular films were showing ( not bad for the early to mid 1960s). On other occasions however it might only be £1 to £2 for the weeks work. Most of my brothers and sisters sold ice cream or manned the sweet kiosk in the foyer or the booking office at some time.
Some of the family would go down most nights around 10pm when the last showing finished in order to help dad close up. This included walking up and down each row in orded to make sure that all the cigarette ends on the floor were extinguished and to pick up all the non returned empty lemodade bottles. Cinema fires were not uncommon due to cigarette ends, the Regal wad one small fire in the balcony in the 1960s which put it out of action for a couple of months, I dont think the LaScala ever had one. Up until the mid 1960s the cinemas had matinees as well as evening performanced and were open even on Christmas Day. I well remember dad having to run out immediately after an early christmas dinner in order to open up."