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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.

24-34 (EVEN NOS) NORTH BRIDGE STREET, THE REGAL COMMUNITY THEATRE (FORMER REGAL CINEMA)LB45918

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Information

  • Category: B
  • Date Added: 03/03/1999
  • Supplementary Information Updated: 26/06/2008

Location

  • Local Authority: West Lothian
  • Planning Authority: West Lothian
  • Burgh: Bathgate

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NS 97257 68906
  • Coordinates: 297257, 668906

Description

A D Haxton, Leven, completed 1938; internal decoration by John Alexander, Newcastle; later additions and internal alterations. Near rectangular-plan, Art Deco former cinema set on sloping site with symmetrical 3-storey, 5-bay entrance front grouped, 1-3-1. Minor additions to sides and rear. Painted cement stucco to front with fan-shaped decorative motifs; marble dressings; painted harl to sides and rear. Channelled ashlar base course in part to front; stepped and painted parapets. Interior includes important plaster panels by John Alexander.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: symmetrical front comprising curved steps with chequered inlay accessing 3-bay entrance; wheelchair access incorporated to right; glazed, 2-leaf timber doors in each bay (full-height marble panels set between); replacement full-width, flat-roofed canopy above. Large windows centred at 1st and 2nd floors (squat at 2nd floor); flanking single windows; stylised giant order pilasters dividing bays, panelled aprons between floors. 'REGAL' raised letter signage centred beneath stepped parapet. 2-storey pavilion blocks projecting to outer right and left, with windows centred at both floors with full-height surrounds incorporating both openings, decorative aprons between floors, stylised keystones breaking eaves. Square windows set behind each pavilion at second floor.

E (SIDE) ELEVATION: irregular fenestration to left at entrance block; auditorium block adjoined to right with central stair projection; single storey block to outer right.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: gable end with lower, advanced piended block with canted lower addition to centre.

W ELEVATION: irregular fenestration. Single storey block to outer left.

Predominantly small-paned opaque glazing; decorative stained glass to 1st floor. Late 20th century corrugated metal roof.

INTERIOR: original decorative scheme in place. Later alterations to form small theatre space in auditorium compatible with original function of building. Later insertion of office/meeting room at balcony level. Original plan still discernable and components of lobby, flanking stairs to balcony and 1st floor bar area in relation to auditorium intact. Decorative terrazzo flooring to lobby, compartmental ceiling with decorative plasterwork; timber doors. Chequered inlay to stair treads, veneered walnut dado panelling. 1st floor bar above lobby with glazed, 2-leaf timber doors; veneered walnut panelled walls to picture rail height; compartmental ceiling; original stained glass windows. Former cinema to rear of plan with moulded plaster surround to proscenium; coffered ceiling with sunken panels embossed with decorative strapwork. Large 3-dimensional fibrous plaster grilles flanking stage (above exits), each with stylised frame enclosing Roman charioteers. Balcony converted to office. Small exhibition space now to ground and 1st floors.

Statement of Special Interest

This former cinema is a good example of a provincial cinema, retaining a fine Art Deco decorative scheme to the interior and exterior and occupying a prominent site in the centre of the town. The cinema remains structurally intact, despite later alterations. John Alexander's fine decorative scheme, in particular the outstanding modelled plaster panels, are rare, being one of only two extant examples of this craftsman's work in the UK (the other at the Northwick Cinema, Worcester).

Alexander (1888-1874) was a Newcastle-based designer, who specialised in flamboyant interiors for restaurants, ballrooms and cinemas, combining boldly modelled plaster work, decorative carpets, upholstery and curtains, ornate paint schemes and dramatic lighting.

This is the finest remaining example of A D Haxton's (1878-1960) cinema designs. Between 1914 and 1955, Haxton's practice worked extensively designing cinemas in Fife and West Lothian of which only 3 survive but in much altered form.

In use as a community theatre since 1995.

List description updated and category changed from C(S) to B as part of the Cinema Thematic Study 2007-08.

References

Bibliography

Bathgate Courier, July 1938. C McKean The Scottish Thirties (1987), pp. 63-74. B Peter, 100 Years of Glasgow's Amazing Cinemas (1996). www.scottishcinemas.org.uk/scotland/bathgate.html (2007).

About Designations

Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see www.historicenvironment.scot. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot. You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 27/08/2016 14:18