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 93669 6296
393669, 806296


Arthur H L Mackinnon, 1897-8; Free Edwardian Baroque clubhouse and hall for Aberdeen Union Club; hall converted as Picturedome Cinema, 1910, restored with present Art Deco cinema auditorium 1924 (and renamed Cinema House).

Plan comprises long rectangular theatre/hall to W with long elevation to North Silver Street and entrance elevation to Skene Terrace; quarter-circle plan block to N, turning corner at Union and Skene Terraces with deep bowed 3-window cuved angle, originally containing shops at ground, offices and leisure rooms above.

Mainly polished granite ashlar, with picked ashlar and rough hewn ashlar to W (hall) block. 3-storey and attic to principal elevations, architraved windows, 1st floor windows with triangular pediments or cornices, 2nd floor windows mostly mannered with blocked rustication; mostly plate glass sash and case windows, cill bands, deep cornice and parapet, partly balustraded; pitched slated roof, axial stacks.

UNION TERRACE ELEVATION: 3-bay sweeping into curve of 3-window corner section, left hand bay advanced. Ground; entrance left hand bay with elaborate pilastered and corniced entrance, obelisk finials over clasping pilasters framing arched, cavetto moulded doorpiece with mannered pendant keyblock; 2-leaf doors and multi-paned fanlight of later date. Modern shopfront below original fascia to right; 1st floor architraved and corniced, pedimented at left hand bay; 2nd floor windows have blocked rusticated architeaves; solid parapet over left-hand bay, balustraded over right hand bays.

Entrance to centre of 3-window curved angle, giving access (now and originally) to ground floor shop. Original 6-panel, 2 leaf doors with raised roundels in panels, tall plain fanlight; entrance flanked by pilasters, and modern glazing of shop windows, set within original fascia. 3 pedimented windows at 1st, 3 blocked rusticated windows at 2nd; French Pavilion roof fronted by elaborate shaped pediment over parapet with central keyblocked attic oculus set within blocked rusticated pilasters, and with broken semi-circular apex pediment with obelisk finial breaking through centre.

SKENE TERRACE ELEVATION: 3 return bays of W section, right hand entrance bay slightly advanced; ground floor: deep cavetto moulded arched doorpiece (pilastered, corniced, with obelisk finials as on Union Terrace entrance, presently masked by bingo hall signs); pedimented 1st and 2nd floor windows, plain parapet over. 4-bay symmetrical elevation of N block (hall) slightly recessed to right, pedimented centre bays slightly advanced of single window flanks; rough hewn darker grey granite ground floor and full-height giant pilasters clasping centre and outer bays; ground floor includes small square half-basement and segmental headed ground floor mezzanine window, entrance at right hand end bay; band course between ground, 1st and 2nd floor(shorter than 1st and 2nd floors in main, W block) which together light 2-storey hall within; parapet over cornice, keyblocked thermal attic window set at parapet level below pediment at centre; shallow recessed outer bays with single windows; keyblocked oculi at 1st floor; simple architraved 2nd floor windows. Centrepiece with 3 windows at half basement, ground-mezzanine, 1st and attic floors, bipartite at 2nd.

NORTH SILVER STREET ELEVATION: (hall), darker grey picked ashlar with contrasting lighter grey polished ashlar dressings. 4-bay. Ground floor absorbed into sloping site to right. Tall arched and keyblocked 1st (ground) floor windows with multi-pane glazing and 2nd (1st) floor bipartites with 9-pane sash and case glazing, both lighting hall within.

INTERIORS: some original 1890's fittings in W section, including mahogany staircase with turned balusters, toplit by circular cupola, leading from No 42 Union Terrace entrance; one room with original mahogany chimneypiece with paired half fluted dwarf Ionic column stiles, deep panelled frieze, cornice and large mirror overmantel with Jacobethan casrved console and cherub motif frame.

CINEMA HOUSE AUDITORIUM: 1924 Art Deco scheme. Flat ceiling jettied out on decorative paired consoles to shallow arched higher sections; rear gallery jettied out on similar consoles. Original Art Deco fittings, including operating box, speakers, seating and light fittings.

Statement of Special Interest

Built as Union Hall for Aberdeen Union. Hall/theatre converted as Picturedrome cinema by businessman Henry N Phillips of London in 1910, becoming the second permanent cinema in Aberdeen. Picturedrome restored 1924 as Cinema House. Cinema House functioned as bingo hall from 1971-1991. Currently in use as a night club (2008).

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



City of Aberdeen Planning Department, Plans Archive.

SILVER SCREEN IN THE SILVER CITY: A HISTORY OF CINEMAS IN ABERDEEN, Michael Thomson, 1988, pp29, 46, 47, 136, 321. (accessed 21/1/08).

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.

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