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- Category: C
- Date Added: 29/03/1995
- Local Authority: Scottish Borders
- Planning Authority: Scottish Borders
- Burgh: Peebles
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 25139 40446
- Coordinates: 325139, 640446
Alister G Macdonald, 1932-33. 2-storey 3-bay Art Deco former cinema, modern shopfront infill to entrance. Smooth render painted, grey harl to rear.
S (front) elevation: facade framed by shallow paired pilasters with channelled base and volute capitals; stepped parapet with blocking course. Wide opening at ground floor (now infilled with modern shopfront) with projecting fascia. 3 windows to 1st floor with recessed aprons and divided by stylised moulded pilasters breaking eaves. Stylised block keystones rising from lintels, reaching eaves line to centre.
N (rear) elevation: large rectangular-plan flat-roofed harled extension.
Timber sash and case windows with 4-lying pane glazing.
Interior: not seen 1994.
Statement of Special Interest
The former Playhouse cinema makes a positive contribution to the streetscape of Peebles High Street. The front façade has good Art Deco detailing and was designed by one of the leading cinema architects working in Scotland at the time. The spacing of the windows and rubble chimney stacks suggest that this cinema is actually a remodelling of an earlier building.
The architect, Alister Gladstone MacDonald, specialised in cinema design, and had offices in both London and Edinburgh. He built a number of cinemas in Scotland, but his most innovative designs were for the "Newsreel Cinemas" at Waterloo and Victoria stations in London. He was the eldest son of the first Labour Prime Minister, James Ramsay MacDonald.
Notes to list description updated 2007-08 as part of the thematic review of cinemas.
Information courtesy of Neil Brown.
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