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
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NO 40137 30022
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: (accessed 12.02.08).

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.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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