Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 93461 5811
393461, 805811


1932-3, A Marshall Mackenzie (reworking of 1927-31 plans by Clement George - see Notes). 3-storey, asymmetrical cinema. Steel frame with polished granite frontage. Three tall windows to 2nd and 3rd floor above central canopied entrance. Small sculpted panels above with 'CAPITOL' inscription and simplified Art-Deco pediment. Flanked by 2 bays to the left and three to the right. Shops (429 and 433) on each side of entrance. Door (433) to store above 433. Side and rear walls of brick.

INTERIOR: Information from auditorium divided horizontally into night club upstairs and bar/restaurant below and the original proscenium arch has been retained.

Statement of Special Interest

The bold geometric styling of the former Capitol Cinema adds considerable interest to the streetscape. The first cinema in Scotland to use the Holophane colour lighting system as an integral part of the design, the Capitol was one of the most lavishly appointed cinema interiors of its day. Renowned Aberdeen architect, Marshall Mackenzie modernised and re-styled earlier plans by local architect Clement George who was removed from the project due to failing health. Mackenzie was also responsible for the extensive additions to Marischal College in 1905 - see separate listing. The Capitol replaced an earlier smaller picture house. Its proposed rebuilding is mentioned in The Builder 1927, p627. The cinema adjoins 423, 425 Union Street (see separate listing) extending back to Justice Mill Lane.

References and Notes updated as part of Cinemas Thematic Study 2007-08



The Builder CXLIV (1933) p924, 929-30. Michael Thomson, 'Silver Screen In The Silver City, a history of cinemas in Aberdeen, 1896-1987' (1988) p200-220. William Brogden, 'Aberdeen - An Illustrated Architectural History' (1998) p103, 113. (accessed 22/1/08).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 06/08/2020 11:15