Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


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

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 17/12/2018 04:48