Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NS 62647 65634
262647, 665634


James McKissack of John McKissack & Son, opened 1938. Rare survival of iconic streamline Art Deco style super-cinema complex on island site incorporating separate sweet shop, power house and former car park, and retaining much original interior detail. Conceived as amenity element (together with church, library and school) of 1920s housing development centred on Cumbernauld Road. Principal elevation of white faience tiles with darker horizontal banding (now, 2007, painted white) and contrasting black base course and parapet cornices; screen wall and outer rounded bays pebble dashed in 'Dorset pea'; side elevations roughcast with stepped faience tiles at ground (painted) and deep eaves course. Cantilevered canopy over broad centre door, and metal-framed horizontally-astragalled windows. Piended roof of Trafford tiles.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: massive symmetrical entrance of round-angled bays stepping up to 4-stage centre with replacement sign and stepped gable forming screen wall behind. Canopied entrance with 4 2-leaf part-glazed timber doors flanking former revolving door below 4 tall narrow windows. Link wall at outer right adjoining lower sweetshop, and small L-plan power house range to rear.

INTERIOR: all interior spaces retain coherent linking elements to largely intact Art Deco decorative scheme of elegant banding and rounded cloud-like motifs. Terazzo floored foyer and staircase; auditorium with vaulted ceiling and large circular light fitting, bowed balcony front, prominent bowed side exits incorporating triple-columned full-height doorpiece with centre clock over 2-leaf swing doors with bullet-shaped viewing panes; crisp proscenium arch with understated broad concave moulding. Projection room lined with green and white tiles and projector openings to balcony. Seating altered to accommodate bingo tables.

Statement of Special Interest

The former Riddrie Picture House, one of Scotland's best preserved super-cinemas, is arguably James McKissack's 'masterpiece'. It is an outstanding example of an Art Deco cinema and the impact of its unequivocal Art Deco lines on a prominent island site remains undiminished. Its setting is significant (see below) and the survival of its associated power house appears to be particularly rare. Integral shops were a feature of the period and a historic photograph shows that the sweet shop at Riddrie was formerly operated by R S McColl.

Sympathetically converted to a bingo hall in 1968, the 1,780 seat cinema was one of a number of outstanding designs by James McKissack which include the Vogue Cinemas at Cathcart Road, Glasgow and at Rutherglen, the Caley Cinema, Lothian Road, Edinburgh and Mecca Tivoli at Gorgie Road, Edinburgh. House style was not adopted to the same extent in Scotland as it was south of the border, and with such a wealth of cinemas appearing during the earlier years of the 20th century (Glasgow alone boasted more than 100) the challenge was for architects to produce stylish designs reflecting rapid technical innovation and the growing demand for luxury. By the 1930s significant design change was being supported by fundamental social change. McKean recognises the developing concept of pleasure and leisure being made available to far greater numbers. He continues, "The dominance of this aspect of the Thirties has led to the description of the inter-war period as "the long weekend" (p61).

The Riddrie Picture House was built for George Smith and James Welsh. Welsh was Housing Convenor for Glasgow Corporation and Lord Provost of Glasgow from 1943-45. The Smith and Welsh partnership had previously employed James McKissack to design a cinema at Possil, as part of a similar working class housing development. Between 1910 and 1920 very few homes were built to fulfil Lloyd George's requirement of "homes fit for heroes", but Riddrie's Corporation housing, conceived immediately after WWI, was one of the few schemes completed during the 1920s. Amenity structures were seen as integral to such housing schemes but building may have been delayed due to post-war restrictions on non-essential building. Hence the later building dates at Riddrie of the church, library, school and finally the cinema. The building was sold to the Singleton circuit of cinemas and renamed the Vogue in 1950. After conversion to a bingo hall in 1968 the Picture House was briefly re-invented in 1990 when it featured as a super-cinema in the film Silent Scream starring Robert Carlyle.

Assessed as part of the Cinema Thematic Study 2007-08.



Information courtesy of Cinema Theatre Association Scotland (2007). Bruce Peter 100 Years of Glasgow's Amazing Cinemas . Williamson, Riches and Higgs The Buildings of Scotland, Glasgow. Louden The Cinemas of Cinema City (1983). Mitchell Library, Plans (1936).

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. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. 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.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to 722 CUMBERNAULD ROAD, NB LEISURE BINGO, FORMER RIDDRIE PICTURE HOUSE INCLUDING SWEET SHOP AND POWER HOUSE

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 05/12/2023 04:30