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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.

GRANGEMOUTH STATION ROAD, FORMER LA SCALA CINEMALB50873

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Information

  • Category: C
  • Date Added: 02/05/2007

Location

  • Local Authority: Falkirk
  • Planning Authority: Falkirk
  • Burgh: Grangemouth

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NS 92755 82109
  • Coordinates: 292755, 682109

Description

1913 with later alterations (see Notes). Early, purpose-built cinema fronted by near symmetrical, 7-bay Scots Renaissance style vestibule block with 2-storey ogee-roofed outer pavilions. Scotch-bond red brick with sandstone ashlar dressings; rendered brick auditorium. Base course; moulded cornice; blocking course. Tripartite openings with moulded margins and cills. Moulded pilasters dividing bays with obelisk-finials above parapet. Giant, Composite-order corner pilasters to pavilions.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: principal opening to centre bay; panel above inscribed 'Empire Electric Theatre' surmounted by ornate 17th century Scots Renaissance style scrolled and finialled swan-neck pediment. Moulded doorpieces to pavilions with broken segmental-arched pediments containing tablet-stones; tripartite windows at eaves level.

Plain auditorium block behind vestibule steps down slightly in height from left to right with bays marked out by brick pilasters. 1930s addition to East with cantilevered projection booth at upper level; irregular fenestration.

Fixed-pane timber-framed windows to principal elevation; metal-framed windows to W elevation. Grey slate to pavilion roofs. Clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: Plain auditorium, probably the result of remodelling after fires in 1952 and 1962. Further alterations following change of use to bingo hall in 1971. Curved rear balcony; segmental-arched ribbed ceiling; proscenium with cartouche detail. Void behind stage with evidence of rigging and elevated gantrys.

Statement of Special Interest

Part of the first wave of purpose-built cinemas constructed in Scotland following the introduction of the Cinematograph Act in 1910. Opened as the Empire Electric Theatre in December 1913 and renamed the La Scala three years later, it is a rare survivor of its type in Scotland. The earliest remaining example is the listed Hippodrome in nearby Bo'ness, which opened in March 1912 (see separate listing).

The La Scala occupies a prominent central location beside the Grangemouth Town Hall. The pavilioned vestibule section with its combination of red brick and Renaissance detailing is of particular note, providing considerable streetscape interest. The use of the Renaissance style is unusual in Scottish cinema design.

It is likely the interior has undergone at least one major set of alterations. The auditorium was partially rebuilt for sound in 1930 following the introduction of talking pictures. Richard Jaques suggests that this work may have been by architect Alistair G Macdonald, son of the Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald. The void behind the stage suggests that the building may have originally been intended to also function as a traditional theatre. The auditorium held 655 seats at the height of the cinema's popularity during the 1940's.

References

Bibliography

3rd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1923). Richard Jaques, Falkirk and District, RIAS/Rutland Press (2001), pp116; John Gifford and Frank Walker, Buildings of Scotland - Stirling and Central Scotland (2002), pp81-82 and 532; www.scottishcinemas.org.uk (as accessed on 12.03.2007). Further information courtesy of the Cinema Theatre Association Scotland.

About Designations

Listed Buildings

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.

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Printed: 11/12/2016 11:50