Kingsway, Glasgow

1235 Cathcart Road, Glasgow, G42

Architect: James McKissack   Listing: B-Listed (before demolition)   No of Seats: 1,432

Status: Demolished   Opened: 1929   Closed: 1965

Other information: Opened 8.5.29 by Kingsway Cinema Ltd (Smith & Welsh). Arch. McKissack. s. 1,432. Sold to Singleton Cinemas, renamed, 7.1.50. Cl. 3.65. Bingo until 6.86. Derelict, for sale in 1.02. 

The Kingsway opened in May 1929, and was designed by architect James McKissack.

It seated 1,432 and was originally run by the company Kingsway Cinema Ltd., before being sold to Singleton cinemas in 1950, when it was renamed the Vogue. It closed to films in March 1965, and was used for bingo until June 1986, since when it sat empty and unused.

It was B-listed by Historic Scotland in 1993. Despite this, the building was allowed to deteriorate and no attempt made to maintain the fabric of the building. It was later added to the register of Scottish Buildings At Risk.

In November 2003, a planning application was submitted to demolish the cinema and build new flats on the land and green space behind it. This claimed that the building was dangerous, and that retaining the facade in any future development was impractical. Sadly, this argument was accepted by Historic Scotland, and the application was granted by Glasgow City Council in 2006.

In December 2004, it appears the developers were seeking permission to demolish the building on public safety grounds, but were only allowed to ‘make safe’ the building by cutting down some of the pediments and pull off some loose render on the facade.       

A new application (06/02195/DC) was published on June 21st 2006 to try remove one of the planning consent conditions required for demolition of the building – namely that no demolition should take place before legal contracts were in place for the replacement building. This had a 3 week consultation period, but demolition started anyway the week beginning the 7th August – well before the consultation period had closed!

The office of local MP Tom Harris then spoke directly to the head of planning, and succeeded in having the demolition stopped, at least temporarily, as they agreed that ‘demolition was started prematurely’. This allowed for a proper asbestos survey and check for bats to be carried out, before demolition resumed and the building was flattened by the 20th of August.

July 2005

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