New Historic Scotland Booklet - Spotlight on Scotland's Cinemas
A free booklet has been released by Historic Scotland celebrating our built cinema heritage
In living memory a common feature in Scotland’s towns and cities, cinemas are now an increasingly rare part of our streetscapes. In 2007–08 Historic Scotland undertook a thematic study of Scotland’s historic cinema buildings in conjunction with the Cinema Theatre Association, and this new booklet traces their history and development from the earliest times to the present day
PDF download of the entire booklet here

Get the latest, up to the minute cinemas news at

Fairly big update for our Inverness pages, including up-to-date shots of the Eden Court complex, and soon to be demolished former Palace cinema, plus some new archive shots of the former La Scala, courtesy of the Scottish Screen Archive at the National Library of Scotland.

Odeon Cinema, Clerk Street, Edinburgh - Call-In Decision

"Duddingston House Properties applied for planning permission and listed building consent for the former Odeon building in Clerk Street, Edinburgh.

City of Edinburgh Council granted the application, which included partial demolition of the B-listed building, while Historic Scotland maintained its objections to the extent of the scheme.

A campaign to prevent the demolition of the auditorium was created and a petition calling for Scottish Ministers to call in the decision for their consideration was presented to Historic Scotland Chief Executive John Graham in May.

On June 03 2009 Michael Russell MSP, Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution, announced that Scottish Ministers would consider the application.

The applicant chose to have the case considered by written submissions to the Independent Reporter.

Scottish Ministers announced on May 21 2010 that the application had been refused."

(from )

Decision letter from Scottish Ministers and the
Full independent report recommending the application be refused:

Submission from Historic Scotland to the independent planning reporter.

Press Coverage:
Urban Realm:
Edinburgh Council overruled on Odeon demolition

Scotsman News article, 22/5/10
Ministers throw out plan to knock down landmark cinema

Scotsman Opinion Piece:
Now get the Odeon Building back into productive use

Edinburgh Evening News, 22/5/10:
Old Odeon granted a reprieve from the bulldozers


Is 2010 going to be the year of the community-run cinema?
Work by the Leven Community Cinema group to turn the Regent in Leven from a bingo hall back into a cinema is far advanced, with new seats, a new screen and full 35mm projection installed. Pictures of the restoration work is available on Facebook here, and the gala re-opening night is planned for 12th of March, with the Scottish premiere of British Film "I Know, You Know" starring Robert Carlyle.
In Aberfeldy, at the former Birks cinema builders are expected on-site this week to begin work to strip out the old amusement arcade interior, and begin the conversion back into a cinema for the local Friends of The Birks Cinema group.

Quick news roundup:

A nice, constructive review of the website and database was featured recently on the Bioscopic Blog

Evening Times: Cinema City plan to put film focus on Glasgow

Page/Park to take Glasgow Theatre Royal goers 'from the street to the seat'

Want to buy the B-listed former Lyceum cinema in Govan? Got £275K+ kicking about ?

Regeneration plans for B-listed Olympia Bridgeton revealed - first image unveiled

Perth & Kinross Council pass plans to demolish former Regal, Auchterarder for flats - application details here.

East Ayrshire Council grants itself permission to demolish 1913 Cumnock Picture House

New 650 seat cinema brings the movies back to Aviemore

Scotland's most southerly cinema - Machar Movies at the Isle of Whithorn - scoops  an award (BBC News)

The Guardian lists the Cameo Edinburgh as one of the 10 best independent cinemas in the UK

Nice new virtual tour of Alhambra, Dunfermline on their website

Talk on the Cinemas of the West End of Glasgow & Cinemas At Risk as part of the Glasgow West End Lectures series. Details here.


Fantasic new image of the La Scala, Clydebank in the 1950s - with the Singer factory clock in the background - thanks to Charles McNab. Thanks to Jock Brown, there are also a couple of images from the projection room about the same period.

Also thanks to Jock Brown, there are new archive images and information about the Palace / Strand cinema in Alexandria.

Thanks to a grant from Scottish Screen, both the Buccleuch Theatre, Langholm and the Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh can both now show films. Langholm has a roll up screen, whilst Mussleburgh’s is flown out of the way when not in use. Both are equipped for 5.1 surround sound, with Panasonic DLP digital video projectors. Thanks to Pete Naples for the information.

Local councillors have voted to demolish the former Civic Theatre in Ayr.

The recent cold weather and a burst pipe temporarily closed the Cineworld in Glasgow, according to the Evening Times.

The former King's cinema in Brechin is now on the Buildings at Risk list - there is also a planning application to demolish the rear and convert the frontage into flats.

In Glasgow, we have database entries for 174 cinemas - but for 20 of those, we don't have any images. See the list of missing Glasgow cinemas - can you help?
In Edinburgh, we have database entries for 72 cinemas - but for 15 of those, we don't have any images. See the list of missing Edinburgh cinemas - can you help?

Up to date interior images of the New Tivoli in Edinburgh after its restoration have been added, thanks to Owen Lima.
In Aberdeen, the Palace cinema page has been updated with a current exterior thanks to Emma Mykytyn, plus a new gallery of images of the interior from 1985, thanks to Alan Rennie.
New archive images of the WMR / George in Irvine have been added, thanks to Bill Mather.
Thanks to David Low, images of the demolition of the Playhouse in Huntly, and the interior of the Town Hall in Elgin can now be seen.
In Coatbridge, we have a new image of the BB Cinema, thanks to Bruce Peter.
Plus, in Falkirk, the Casino has been added, and better images of the Salon and Melville Street cinemas added, thanks to Ian Scott and Joanne Hynd.

Happy New Year!
New pages have been added for the following demolished Glasgow cinemas: the original BB Cinerama, the Cambridge, the Florida, the rebuilt Palaceum, the original Princes, and the Standard Picture House, thanks to the Cinema Theatre Association Archive.

A new page for Kinglassie has been added, thanks to Robert Clark, for Bannockburn, thanks to Maxine Adams, for the Isle of Whithorn, thanks to Harry Rigby, and for Balloch.
The Town Hall has been added to the page for Clydebank, and the Corn Exchange to Bathgate (thanks to Ian Hossack), the Heart of Hawick to Hawick, thanks to David Simpson, the Buccleuch Hall to Langholm thanks to Harry Rigby, the Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline, thanks to Robert Clark, and the Town Hall in Jedburgh. Plus, on the Military Cinemas page, we have a new image of the former cinema at RAF Kinloss, thanks to Tez Watson.

The Database and other detailed information has been updated thanks to new information from: David Simpson, Harry Rigby, Douglas Bryson, David Skinner, Robert Clark, Neil Darlington, Eddie Dowd, Steve McCabe, Iain D Foster, Shona White, Johnny Black, Ian Grant, Marlen Smith, Alexander Mullay, Tez Watson, Charles Morris, Barry Ferguson, David Shearer, Gareth Jones, and James McArdle.

A ceremony was held in Paisley on Hogmanay to commemorate the 80th anniversay of the Glen Cinema disaster - details here.

A blog for the campaign to return cinema to Nairn can be found here.

Great selection of Glasgow Film Theatre / Mr Cosmo archive stuff on Flickr here.

The Friends of the Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy have launched a new website, and have take possession of the building; Alan Cumming has announced his support for their fundraising campaign.


The A-listed Tivoli theatre in Aberdeen has changed hands, and a new restoration plan has been mooted - details here.

£320K has been awarded from the Town Centre regeneration fund to the Friends of the Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy to help plans to refurbish & reopen - details here.

The Gaiety Theatre, Ayr (currently dark) is to benefit from Town Centre regeneration fund money - details here.

The Corn Exchange in Biggar is to benefit from Town Centre Regeneration funding - details here.

The Cameo, Edinburgh has launched a refurbishment fund-raising scheme - details in Evening News here, and a more recent article here.
One of the Cameo's small modern screens was closed due to a mystery stench, which was eventually traced to a broken cast-iron pipe in the wall of the adjacent tenement. The screen has now reopened after repairs were made.

The bid to secure Town Centre Regeneration funding to purchase & help restore B-listed Glasgow Bridgeton Olympia theatre as a community venue of some kind has been successfull, being awarded £1.95M. Details here.

Perth's 7-screen Playhouse cinema, formerly a Caledonian Cinemas venue, is now being run by Glasgow-based G1 Group, who also own the two-screen Glasgow Grosvenor cinema.
The Playhouse, a Category B listed building, opened in 1933 to designs by Alex Cattenach Jr. There is planning permission extant to build an extension with additional screen in a gap site to the side, and convert the large Screen 1, the original balcony, to a restaurant.

The former Grange in Stevenston has now been demolished.

Coverage of the falling attendences at the Highland Theatre cinema, Oban in the Scotsman.

A new campaign has been launched to return cinema to Nairn - details.

The Edinburgh Playhouse sold by Live Nation to Ambassador Theatre Group - details.

Local press interest in the former Odeon Edinburgh remains high, with the Edinburgh News featuring articles highlighting Historic Scotland's report saying the building should be kept, and also interviewing DHP developer Bruce Hare, in which he claimed the only way to safeguard the building for the future is to demolish the auditorium. See here and here.
There is also coverage of a break in and vandalism at the site here.
The independant Reporter considering the planning application has sent his report to the Scottish Ministers, who must now make the final decision. A timescale for this is currently unknown.

The Scottish Civic Trust, who maintain the official Buildings at Risk register for Scotland, have added several more cinemas to it: including the former Cumnock Picture House, and the former Kings/ABC/Regal in Kilmarnock, the Broadway in Prestwick, the Vogue in Girvan, and the Orient in Ayr. Details on our Buildings at Risk page.

Two two multi-purpose developments have been announced for Glasgow - one at Glasgow Harbour, and another at the former railway yards at Cowlairs. Both have multiplex cinemas mooted as part of the plans, although neither have specific operators attached as yet, so it will be interesting to see if they ever materialise. Similar developments at Silverburn on Glasgow's south side, and Glasgow Fort at Easterhouse both had cinemas announced as part of the original plans, yet neither materialised. Details here.

Glasgow Theatre Royal owners Scottish Opera is planning for a potential £8.5 million upgrade of the theatre's foyer spaces. It has bought a small piece of land adjacent to its current cramped foyers which could allow for them to be rebuilt and expanded, subject to funding availability. Details here.

As part of the Shetland Film Festival, a bus stop was converted into a 2-seat cinema, according to BBC News. The opening night was a sell-out.

BBC 4 program Time Shift's documentary on the Golden Age of Liners featured scenes filmed in the B-listed former Rex in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire. The entire interior of the Rex was taken from the liner Homeric when it was broken up. Other parts of the fixtures and fittings from the ship were used in the Regal in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, although that building is far less intact than the Rex.

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