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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.

117 NORTH STREET, THE NEW PICTURE HOUSELB51110

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Information

  • Category: B
  • Date Added: 02/06/2008

Location

  • Local Authority: Fife
  • Planning Authority: Fife
  • Burgh: St Andrews

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NO 50789 16890
  • Coordinates: 350789, 716890

Description

Gillespie and Scott, 1931; minor alterations also by Gillespie and Scott 1936 and 1960. Unusual small cinema, now (2007) with 3 screens, retaining much fine original interior decorative detail including watercolour panels by local artist Ada Walker. Modern bow-fronted auditorium and inner foyer with Art Deco references fronted by Classical arcaded loggia projecting from East Neuk vernacular façade of red pantiled crowstepped gable and low swept roof bay slotted into earlier terrace. Harl, dry-dash and red brick with ashlar dressings. Keystoned roundheaded openings to street elevation.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: principal elevation to N comprising loggia projecting over footpath, deep set doorway of 3 2-leaf part-glazed redwood doors with large roundheaded bipartite window in gable above. Small single storey wing to left with altered shop front and pend entrance at outer left. 2 tall square-plan towers flank slightly lower 3-stage semicircular tower (just visible from street) with tall stair window and horizontal band courses linking long foyer with rectangular-plan auditorium.

INTERIOR: good original classical decorative scheme retained in auditorium with vaulted ceiling, decorative plasterwork including delicate swags punctuated by fine watercolours of local scenes, and proscenium arch with cartouche lettering 'NPH'; balcony enlarged. Long outer foyer now with island paybox and Doric columns leading to circular inner foyer.

Largely multi-pane glazing patterns in timber and metal windows. Red clay pantiles to street elevations.

Statement of Special Interest

The New Picture House is a little-altered cinema in an unusual, and possibly unique, marriage of styles created to sit within a traditional St Andrews streetscape without compromising the comfort and technical excellence expected by the discerning cinema-going public of the inter-war period which became known as "the long weekend" (McKean, p61). The Classical detailing of the loggia is reflected in the very fine auditorium, while the Art Deco modernity, lending massing and scale to the structure, is discreetly positioned but obvious to those who wish to see, behind the pantiles and crowsteps. Watercolour panels in the interior depict local scenes, such as the Cathedral and Castle as well as the cinema itself. St Andrews-based artist Ada Hill Walker (1879-1955) was the youngest sister of William Hill Walker of Walker & Pride architects. The emphasis at the New Picture House is on distinct local identity and this is very rare in cinema design of the 1930s.

The New Picture House was so named owing to the existence in St Andrews of another cinema, The Cinema House, which had opened in 1913 and was demolished in the early 1980s. Local architects James Gillespie and Scott, based at 4 Queens Gardens in St Andrews, worked prolifically in the area and their work characteristically takes note of the area's vernacular character. When first built, The New Picture House had a first floor café which is now (2007) sublet as a bar/restaurant and accessed from a new entrance to the west of the cinema entrance. Other changes include the addition a of second screen in 1980, and third screen in 2001. In 2005 the balcony was extended to accommodate luxury seating, and the two watercolour panels from the original balcony front were framed and hung elsewhere within the building.

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

References

Bibliography

Information courtesy of Cinema Theatre Association Scotland (2007). St Andrews University Library, Gillespie and Scott Drawings (Bundle 2071). John Gifford The Buildings of Scotland, Fife (1992), p396. Bruce Peter Scotland's Cinemas (2007). Charles McKean The Scottish Thirties (1987). www.codexgeo.co.uk/dsa. www.scottishcinemas.org.uk/scotland/standrews.

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.

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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: 31/07/2016 04:30