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- Category: C
- Date Added: 27/05/2008
- Local Authority: West Lothian
- Planning Authority: West Lothian
- Burgh: Bathgate
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 97461 68684
- Coordinates: 297461, 668684
John Fairweather, 1920. Rectangular-plan, gable-fronted former picture house in plain Classical style. Segmental arched 3-bay entrance doorway arranged as Diocletian opening; margin-paned glazed panels to upper section, raised lettering 'PAVILION' above arch; all framed by shallow pilasters and dentilled cornice; 3 small square windows above cornice; oculus to gablehead. Small stairwell windows flanking; corniced and dentilled single lower block to right (NW) . Plain SE elevation with 2 double-door fire exits and 2 blocked square vents/windows to upper section. Reinforced concrete and steel-frame construction, rendered to principal elevation; painted to SE side and rear. Corrugated iron roof to auditorium; slate roof to NW block.
INTERIOR: original Classical decorative scheme and floor plan in place. 4 timber and glazed double French doors with stained glass fanlights to entrance. Timber panelled paybox to shallow lobby/vestibule. Doors to stalls and stairwells to balcony flanking vestibule; manager's office to upper floor to NW of plan. Rectangular auditorium with proscenium to S. Full-height Ionic pilasters; square fretwork vents to outer walls (those to W are blocked windows); deep dentilled and bead and reel cornice; large coffers to ceiling, with vine and floral framing plasterwork, including square Roman style roof vents. Segmental arched proscenium with classical detailed framing; tall round-arched panels with raised faux fretwork detailing; toilets to SE of proscenium, ground floor seating replaced with bingo tables. Shallow balcony to N end, original cast-iron seating to upper rear enclosed by panelling with open-arched balustrade; boxes with round-arched openings flanking balcony.
Statement of Special Interest
This former cinema is a good, largely unaltered, and rare example of post-World War I cinema design with good interior detailing. It is an early work by Fairweather for the Green chain and makes a strong contribution to the streetscape in Bathgate. The building is typical of the period and demonstrates the convention of applied Classical styling prior to the move towards modern Streamline and Art Deco designs of the late 1920s and 1930s and changes made later in the decade to accommodate sound technology. A shallow, modest foyer and an auditorium which occupies the majority of the floor space is a typical plan-form for this period in cinema design which aimed to maximise takings from tickets rather than catering. Windows to auditoria were common in early cinemas to allow for fresh air.
This building is the earliest intact survivor of the George Green chain of cinemas. The Greens were the most successful cinema proprietors and exhibitors in Scotland, opening their first cinema in 1911; their last was the Playhouse in Wishaw, 1940 (see separate listing).
John Fairweather was house architect for the Green's and executed all four super-cinemas for the family chain (Glasgow - demolished 1985; Dundee - only tower remains; Ayr; Wishaw). Fairweather was also responsible for the Edinburgh Playhouse.
Assessed as part of the Cinema Thematic Study 2007-08.
West Lothian Courier (26 May 1920); 3rd epoch Ordnance Survey map (1922); www.scottishcinemas.org.uk/scotland/bathgate.html (2007).
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