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- Category: B
- Date Added: 13/12/1991
- Local Authority: Fife
- Planning Authority: Fife
- Burgh: Dunfermline
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 9331 87288
- Coordinates: 309331, 687288
John Fraser, 1920-22. Large former theatre and cinema comprising main block containing auditorium orientated E/W and 3-storey 3-bay entrance block attached at right angles to N. Romanesque detailing, including bracketed parapet, to E (New Row) elevation of otherwise fairly plain main block. Classical N (Canmore Street) elevation with pilastered bays and curved broken-bed pediment to entrance block. Classical interior incorporating Egyptian and Art Deco details. Red brick with sandstone ashlar dressings. Sandstone ashlar base course to New Row; sandstone ashlar ground floor and eaves cornice to Canmore Street. Coped parapet with band course of bricks on end to New Row. Sandstone cills (and mostly sandstone lintels) to main block. Sandstone cills and lintels to entrance block. Coped gables.
N (CANMORE STREET) ELEVATION: triple round-arched entranceway with flat timber canopy extends across projecting 3-bay entrance block; 2-leaf glazed timber door with leaded fanlight to each opening. Bays/openings divided by giant 3-storey pilasters. Window to each bay to upper 2 floors. Corniced ashlar capitals to pilasters; entablature above forms 2nd floor lintels. Curved broken-bed Baroque pediment over capitals to central bay; raised panel at centre; stepped parapet above. Adjoins separate 2-storey buildings to either side. Main block set back.
E ELEVATION: 5-storey end wall of main block; slightly canted to right of centre. 7 slightly projecting bays with bracketed parapet; gabled jettied double-height bay to top floor; window to top floor to each of 3 flanking bays; all linked by cill band; lower floors more sparsely fenestrated. Narrow blank bays with lower-height parapet set back to either side. 2-storey canted projecting 3-bay section to outer left; entrances to left of centre and (inscribed 'PIT EXIT') to outer right. Gabled bay set back to outer right; upper 3 floors set back within flanking strip pilasters; slightly projecting segmental-headed entrance with replacement timber door at ground floor; brick lattice patterning above; Edward VII postbox to left.
W ELEVATION: blank end wall to main block; lean-to at ground level. Cented wall to left return. Side wall of entrance block set back to left.
S ELEVATION: side wall of main block. Slightly taller gable-ended sections to either side. Sparsely fenestrated; row of 3 windows to 3rd floor of left gable-ended section; opening at gable. 2-light mullion windows elsewhere. Rubble walls of earlier structure project at ground/1st floor level to left section.
Mostly multi-pane casements and fixed frame windows to main block; diamond-pane leaded casements to mullioned windows to S; PVCU replacement windows to upper floor of N elevation of entrance block. Grey slate roofs. Flanking coped mid-pitch wallhead stacks to either side (E and W) of entrance block; one (later) set back to main block. Square-plan louvred ventilation tower to central ridge of main block.
INTERIOR: decorative internal scheme and layout largely intact, including decorative plasterwork incorporating Egyptian, classical and Art Deco motifs. Entrance vestibule with flanking ticket-offices contained within quadrant angles; windows with lugged pilastered architraves. Recessed entranceway into foyer beneath arch with flanking Egyptian columns. Identical arch and columns in foyer. Flanking staircases to upper foyer. Segmental-headed proscenium arch to auditorium with decorative plaster surround and flanking columns; clock in circular festooned surround to either side. Seating removed from ground floor but intact to deep curved gallery with circular light fittings along parapet. Gallery adjoins 2-tier semicircular boxes with flanking pilasters and open-topped semicircular pediments at either end. Decorative frieze and recessed ceiling to auditorium. Panelled plaster dados and panelled timber doors throughout. Panelling to stairs/upper foyer grained to imitate timber; original balustrade and fixed ashtrays. Stage area retains some original stage machinery (see NOTES).
Statement of Special Interest
Of significance primarily on account of surviving internal decoration. Original auditorium colour scheme described in Dunfermline Press: blue to dado, red above, with silver and gold columns and ceiling. Stage originally with wide fly gallery from which stage scenery was worked, and a scene-painting loft, unusual for a cinema/theatre of this date.
DUNFERMLINE PRESS, 22 July 1922; Dean of Guild Records (minor alterations 1949 and 1950), Dunfermline Council; John Gifford, FIFE, in the 'Buildings of Scotland' series (1988) p195; Bert McEwan, DUNFERMLINE - OUR HERITAGE (1998) p20.
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