Listed Building

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MURRAY STREET, PLAYHOUSE CINEMALB39584

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
B
Date Added
20/03/1991
Local Authority
Perth And Kinross
Planning Authority
Perth And Kinross
Burgh
Perth
NGR
NO 11609 23794
Coordinates
311609, 723794

Description

A Cattanach of Kingussie, 1933, with T B Gibson as consultant, for Caledonian Associated Cinemas. Large Art Deco Cinema with shops at ground floor. Red brick with marble clad shopfronts and tower, now painted, retaining original canopy and metal-framed glazing, and interior decorative elements. Facade: recessed central doorway with 4 sets of double doors, canopy over with Art Deco neon tube lighting. Marble faced, buttressed tower above, now painted and with horizontal "Playhouse" sign in script above 3 light window. Shop-fronts flanking at ground and 2 floors above curving into tower; upper floors with brick band courses and continuous wrap-around horizontal windows at each floor. Stock brick built sides and rear.

INTERIOR: some decorative elements retained, although auditorium now subdivided and repainted. Cantilevered balcony, stylised pilasters and Art Deco cornice to walls, panelled ceiling. Curved metal banisters to stair in foyer. Original doors with chrome fittings remain upstairs to auditorium and bar.

Statement of Special Interest

An important survival of an Art Deco cinema, the distinctive Art Deco frontage of this cinema is a significant addition to the streetscape of this area of Perth. The cinema is unusual in retaining its metal-framed windows and the continual horizontal lines of these contrast with the central, vertical tower and add to the cinema's distinguished appearance.

Colonel Alexander Cattanach designed more than 20 cinemas in northern Scotland for Caledonian Associated Cinemas, which was possibly the largest cinemas circuit in 1930's Scotland. T B Gibson, here acting as consultant, designed for South Scotland and Edinburgh. Perth Playhouse was Caledonian's flagship, with a seating capacity of 1700. There are now five screens within the original building and two more in a modern extension to the rear. It incorporated a café and 2 shops and had the added distinction of a cantilevered balcony. It was built within 9 weeks, which Idea Kinema considered to be a record (McKean). Laing's perspective shows a confectioner and a tobacconist occupying the flanking shops at ground floor, with signage in a similar style to the original vertical Playhouse sign which was flanked by flagpoles and banners. The canopy details illustrated here differ from those built. The previous list description notes that there are fine proscenium openings behind the present screen to the main cinema, with Art Deco fretwork and relief panels, but this could not be verified at time of visit (2009). Perth Playhouse is very similar to the Regal in Rothesay of 1937, also by Cattanach and now demolished.

Information from the Cinema Theatre Association notes that planning permission was granted in 2006 for a side extension for additional screens as well as the removal of the balcony stairs in the main building.

References and Notes updated as part of the Cinemas Thematic Study, 2007-08.

List description update as part of Perth Resurvey, 2010.

References

Bibliography

Perth Library Plans DGP/1933/53 by Alex Cattanach of Kingussie, T B Gibson Consultant, for Robert Wotherspoon, Inverness, July 1933. J W Laing, Perspective View Playhouse Cinema, Perth (1933) in RIAS Collection, National Monuments Record of Scotland. Featured in National Monuments Record of Scotland Exhibition, From the Printroom (Feb-Apr 1991). Charles McKean, The Scottish Thirties (1987) p38 & 64. Other information courtesy of the Cinema Theatre Association Scotland: www.scottishcinemas.org.uk (accessed 31-12-07).

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. 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.

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Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 27/05/2019 02:13