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- Category: B
- Date Added: 09/02/1993
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 23381 72458
- Coordinates: 323381, 672458
John McKissack and Son, 1933 (opened 1st Jan 1934), incorporating parts of 1913 Cinematograph House by Menzies, Cockburn and Johnston. W wall retained (cinema enlarged to the N and E) and original facade incorporated minus full-width pediment. Plain 3-storey Art Deco facade with etched and coloured glass; flanking entrance with full height stylised giant order.
Red ashlar facade, punched windows, faked corbel courses above 2nd floor and to attic storey, coping at wallhead. Body of building to rear harled.
S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: near-symmetrical 6-bay front, from left, 2nd to 4th bays taller, with flanking entrance bay to right. At ground 3 blind recessed display frames to right, punched doorway at far left interfering with blind bipartite window; similar window at centre with large white wooden display board between. At 1st floor 5 single windows, 6th bay being blind; at 2nd floor only bays 2 to 4 with windows, that in 3rd bay double (these windows only light corridors); corbel course breaks up above these 3, as does attic with small central window (which lights projection house) interrupting corbel course. 1st 2 storeys of bays one to 3 with applied post and lintel surround marking old facade; modern MECCA sign and street lamp attached at left. Lower entrance bay with modern cream tiles masking former bases of giant pilasters at ground; tiled canopy and modern doors. Above, remains of 2 giant pilasters with stylised Aztec capitals flanking a pair of small framed windows (clerestorey to entrance hall); a large segmental-headed window with moulded cill and raised dressings above these. Massive moulded double chevron cresting to wallhead.
All windows with metal casements and original etched and coloured Art Deco glazing. Roof flat or pitched corrugated iron (perhaps asbestos?)
INTERIOR: largely intact, redecorated and refitted as a modern Bingo Hall. Screen at S end flanked by stylised Deco columns; original doors in auditorium with glazing and surround; balcony.
Statement of Special Interest
Category B due to the quality of the interior. John Robertson (a member of the family which erected the Caledonian Hotel, which perhaps explains the colour) was the initial proprietor, the 1933 work being carried out for his Trustees. The last show was on 28th July 1973. Built on the site of Begbie's Farm Dairy. Old projectors still in place (1993).
References and notes updated as part of the Cinemas Thematic Study 2007-08.
Dean of Guild 27.2.1913 and 2.6.1933
Brendan Thomas THE LAST PICTURE SHOWS, EDINBURGH Edinburgh 1984 p43.
Cinema Theatre Association, www.scottishcinemas.org.uk, (2008).
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