1881, interior renovation 1981. Offices and meeting
halls. 3 storeys. East elevation (Terrace Buildings)
5-bays Italian Renaissance; ashlar. Centre doorway
(later converted to tripartite window) round-arched
and flanked by banded pilasters on pedestals. Similar
pilasters divide bays (altered at left) and extend
through 1st floor at angles. Cill course to ground
floor with pediment to centre bay. Blind balustrade to
1st floor windows, and cill course. Windows architraved
with consoled pediments, alternately triangular and
segmental. Moulded string over. Cill course to 2nd
floor, bracketted below lugged architraved windows.
Panelled angle pilasters. Bracketted eaves cornice.
Balustrade with dies and urns. Slate roof. 10-bay north
elevation with basement increasing in height to
east. Squared rubble with ashlar dressings. Segmentally
headed doorway at east and various flat-headed doors.
At west 3 panelled pilasters support brackets and
fretted balcony. Variety of glazing.
Statement of Special Interest
A cinema, the Royal Animated Pictures, was opened in 1910 in the upper floors of the halls. This cinema was the site of a fire in 1929, when 71 children died on Hogmany, after a call of "fire" resulted in a panic stampede. This is the worst cinema disaster in Scotland's history. Information from the Cinema Theatre Association notes that the original ceiling and much of the upper auditorium remains intact.
Notes and references updated as part of Cinema Thematic Study 2007-08.