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- Category: B
- Date Added: 26/08/1988
- Supplementary Information Updated: 06/03/1998
- Local Authority: Dundee
- Planning Authority: Dundee
- Burgh: Dundee
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NO 40137 30022
- Coordinates: 340137, 730022
Joseph Emberton and John Fairweather, 1935-36. Restored by Cooper Cromar 1996-97.
International Modern super cinema advertising tower: 87 feet high steel-framed tower flanked by twin cylindrical drums. Main fin glazed "waterfall effect". Outer section carries lettering MECCA (formerly PLAYHOUSE). Top section over horizontal rib, formerly inscribed GREENS. Additional MECCA sign to S elevation. Modern canopy and entrance (formerly stepped ribbed cove-lit neon lettering in silhouette).
Statement of Special Interest
The tallest advertising tower in Britain, inspired by the night architecture fashions of west coast America, and fore-runner of Tait's Tower at the 1938 Glasgow Exhibition. Opened in 1936 by Green's, at 4,126 seats, this was the second largest cinema in Europe, with a lavish columned interior by John Alexander. The building was sold, along with other Green's properties, to Mecca during the mid 1960s, and became Mecca Bingo in 1968. Only the advertising tower survived a fire in 1995, and was replaced in 1997 by Cooper Cromar.
The tower, undamaged by the fire, was temporarily relocated to facilitate the rebuilding of the auditorium, stripped of its 1970 overcladding, the original steel structure re-erected and clad to return it to an updated version of its 1930s appearance. Category changed from A to B, 6 March 1998.
References and Notes updated as part of Cinemas Thematic Study 2007-08.
Richard Gray "Cinemas in Britain" (1996) pp 113-4, 137. Charles A Harkins "We want U in" (1995) pp 101-137. Charles McKean "The Scottish Thirties" (1987) p 67. McKean and Walker (1993) p 65. Further information courtesy of Cinema Theatre Association: www.scottishcinemas.org.uk (accessed 12.02.08).
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