10-14 Argyle Street, Stonehouse, South Lanarkshire, ML9 3LL
Architect: Unknown Listing: B-Listed (2005) No of Seats: 750
Status: Building at Risk Opened: 1937 Closed: c.1955
Opened 22.1.37 by John Sheeran. s. 750. Cl. Mid-60s. Still owned by Sheerans – warehouse. Interior (from ocean liner) still intact, though ext. in poor condition. Many photos in RCAHM
This fantastic building completely belies its plain, unadorned exterior. Inside is an amazing untouched time capsule of a 1930s cinema – complete with original seats, curtains, carpets, screen and projectors! Still owned by the family of the man who built it, J E Sheeran, it is now used as storage space for their business. With amazing foresight they have preserved this remarkable survivor in its entirety.
Opened in January 1937, the interior of the Rex is lined with panels, a mahogany staircase and grand chandelier rescued from scrap from the cruise ship ‘Homeric’.
The cinema closed in the mid-fifties, and for some time was used as a bingo hall, before being used as storage space.
The Rex was opened to the public as part of Doors Open Day on September 11, 2004. The place was packed with people fascinated by the building and its history. It is very much to be hoped that the amazing response to the building at this event will encourage the restoration and resuse of the building – surely some lottery or Historic Scotland money could be forthcoming to support such a project?
The following large gallery of images (photos by Gordon Barr & Gary Painter) tries to give a taste of the atmosphere of this place… a true gem!