Frank Thomson, 1908. Large red ashlar theatre, 3-storey front, E elevation stepped and treated in American manner. Encircling ground floor band course. Auditorium altered internally but some good plasterwork survives.
Elevation to Cowgate: 3-storey, 11-bay. Ground floor channelled ashlar to foyer and shops, fronts altered. Canopy altered circa 1950. Square mezzanine windows over. Large 1st floor chamfered windows with aprons arranged singly and in 3s. Mutule cornice and parapet. Recessed chamfered angle with ground floor segmental arched door, wrought-iron balcony over, windows similar to N elevation.
Elevation to St Andrews Street: 2 bays in similar style; long blank area of walling to left, ground floor plain ashlar with suspended canopy for queues. Semi-domed open metal neon-light fitting. Cornice and parapet, raised block at centre. 3 bays at left stepped up as ground falls. Channelled ashlar below band course, banded ashlar above. 4 tiers of tripartites over, flanked by bipartites, 1st and 2nd floors linked by vertical recesses. Band course over 3rd floor 4th floor low shouldered windows. Mutule cornice.
S elevation rubble-built, W elevation brick-built.
Windows to Cowgate: casement at mezzanine, 12-pane glazing pattern. 2nd floor sash and case windows, 18-pane glazing pattern. Small fixed-pane windows at S. Piended slate roofs.
Interior: foyer and auditorium stalls and proscenium completely altered. 2 balconies. Domed plaster ceiling suspended from steel roof with fine plasterwork by Mr Ward, now concealed by false ceiling. Original stair to circle with good stained glass and plaster ceiling. Well preserved section underneath stalls: marble flight of steps and terrazzo floors leading to former cafe/bar with Tuscan columns. Corridor lined with Ionic pilasters and intricate plaster festoons and swags. Scroll pedimented sopraporte with female heads.
Continental Ballroom/King's Billiard Room (entered from No 21 Cowgate) has similar plasterwork to barrel-vaulted top-lit ceiling.
Statement of Special Interest
Built as the King's Theatre and Hippodrome, the auditorium was converted to a cinema in 1928. The name was changed to 'Gaumont' in 1950 and again to 'Odeon' in 1973. Closed as a cinema in 1982, the building was subsequently run as a bingo hall and now (2008) it is a nightclub.
References and Notes updated as part of the Cinemas Thematic Study 2007-08.
During a recent (2010) fire risk inspection by the local authority, a fine cast iron kitchen range was discovered in the basement of No 23 Cowgate. The large range incorporates ovens, hotplates and warming cupboards. Information from Dundee City Council.