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- Category: C
- Date Added: 12/12/1974
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 30579 73975
- Coordinates: 330579, 673975
T Bowhill Gibson, 1938, with later alterations. Art Deco, 3-storey, rectangular-plan former cinema, now bingo hall. Harled painted side elevations, rendered and lined to principal elevation. Coping at wallhead; vertical strips to parapet.
SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: centre advanced; 5 steps to modern plate glass window and flanking doors (originally 2-leaf timber-framed doors to outer, similarly glazed sections to centre); modern timber canopy with rounded and grooved original corbels flanking (echoing rounded tower bases framing entrance area). Formerly glazed brick tower to centre, projecting (like fin) forward above, since removed; projecting strip to centre with "George" in applied letters running down; stepped wall surface flanking; outer section of centre advanced and rounded as towers with quadripartite blinded horizontal window to upper sections and tripartite windows lower down on returns. Outer recessed bays blank.
Piended corrugated asbestos roof with steel trusses.
INTERIOR: access to balcony now blocked. Entrance vestibule with coombed ceiling; skirting; fluted frieze; ticket booth to centre between staircases leading to balcony; 2-leaf flush timber doors leading to stalls to left with semi-circular glazed panels overlapping with metal handles; gent's lavatory to front left; modern sweet shop to right; ladies's lavatory to front left. Simple design to vents in ceiling. Double curved, stepped iron banister to stairs still in place. Original signs to lavatories, stalls and balcony. Auditorium now with false ceiling, truncating proscenium. Dado, curving over double doors to side of proscenium. Gently slopping floor. Seats since removed. Some details remaining, such as circular niches and strip plasterwork to walls.
Statement of Special Interest
A prominent building within the locality, by an important Scottish Architect of the Inter-War period, who was Edinburgh's leading cinema designer. On the plans the centre bays, flanking the tower are seen to be taller than outer bays but not as tall as the tower. "The original facing block (currently brilliant white) was in two shades of light blue, and the 33' high advertising tower was entirely glazed, and illuminated at night from inside by means of cyclo troughing, giving constantly changing pastel hues. The top of the building was outlined by a thin line of neon tubing, and the remainder of the facade was floodlit by lights hidden behind the canopy."
C McKean, (1987), p 67-68.
The cinema opened in 1939; it was refurbished and renamed the George in 1954; it has been closed as a cinema since 1954 and has run as a bingo hall since then. The original facade has been reduced in height and the central tower removed, (CTA, 2008).
References and notes updated as part of the Cinemas Thematic Study 2007-08.
Dean of Guild records. C McKean, THE SCOTTISH THIRTIES-AN ARCHITECTURAL INTRODUCTION, (1987), P 67-68. Gifford, McWilliam, Walker, BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND, (1991). Additional information courtesy of The Cinema Thetare Association, www.scottishcinemas.org.uk, (2008).
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