Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 24777 73469
324777, 673469


JS Richardson and JR Mackay, 1922, and John McKissack, 1928. Monumental entrance to former cinema in projecting bay to right (Richardson and Mackay, 1922); mansard roof with pedimented dormer and recessed palazzo wing with projecting shops to ground to left (McKissack, 1928). Coursed ashlar (painted at ground and 1st floors to right). Doric Triumphal Arch (over 2 storeys) to right with pilasters framing paired 2-leaf glazed timber doors (carved rosettes) in decorative surrounds under canopy to centre and (painted over) outer bays; stained glass (1928) and decorative metalwork in round-headed arch; tripartite window in pedimented dormerhead to attic, flanked by single flat-topped dormers. Cornice and stepped blocking course above shops; string course at 2nd; moulded eaves cornice and blocking course, raised and decoratively stepped to outer left bay. Modern 2-leaf timber door in moulded surround to outer left bay; narrow window at 1st floor flanked by pilaster strips; inscribed decorative cartouche (CALEY) above. Modern shop-fronts; consoled and pedimented architraves to 1st floor windows (2nd from right blind); small windows to 2nd in moulded surrounds.

INTERIOR: Classical Modern and Art Deco interior decorative scheme with original 1920s plan still intact. Glazed oak doors to vestibule with Art Deco stained glass fanlights; Rococo plasterwork domed ceiling to oak panelled foyer with later box to left of plan (2008); original lift to auditorium to far right of foyer with original sliding oak doors on chain track. Oak panelled principal stair to SE of foyer, square plan carved newel post with 2 letter Cs (Caley Cinema) flanking gargoyle face, hardwood banister. Arched proscenium with exaggerated reeded classical pilasters and central Rococo foliate cartouche to centre; sunburst plaster panels flanking arch with elaborate Art Deco grilles. Rectangular vents to auditorium walls and ceilings framed with classical foliate plasterwork. Original balcony with later access stairs and modern bar area to uppermost section of balcony.

Small-pane glazing in metal frames. Grey slates. Scrolled skews and stepped stacks to projecting block to right.

Statement of Special Interest

1928 block on the site of the former Commercial Hotel and Tavern; it is an interesting precursor to classical Art Deco architecture. Although assymetrical in arrangement the façade displays the adept handling of classical Beaux-Arts detailing.

The cinema was opened in January 1923 in a partial conversion of an older building. It was later enlarged for talkies in 1928. Closed as a cinema in 1984 and later used as a nightclub. Refurbished in 2008 and opened as Edinburgh Picture House, a performance venue.

References and notes updated as part of the Cinemas Thematic Study 2007-08. List description further updated as part of the Theatres Thematic Study 2010.



Dean of Guild 21st March 1921 and 9th March, 1922. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1984) p 268. Dick Peddie and McKay Collection, original drawings, NMRS. Cinema Theatre Association, (2008).

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. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. 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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Printed: 05/12/2023 05:32