The Scottish Cinemas Project
This website is dedicated to recording and archiving our historic cinema architectural heritage, and to act as a information resource for people interested in that often overlooked part of our social history. The project primarily concentrates on Scottish purpose built cinemas, with particular emphasis and details on the cinemas of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The focus of the website is to provide a photographic and historical record of all surviving cinema buildings, including those now unrecognisable or otherwise highly altered over the years. Cinemas that have now been demolished are also featured where photographs exist and copyright allows us to use them.
We aim to present photographic references of the current state of these buildings, highlighting original decorative features where they survive, and often focusing on how they have been adapted for other uses, while at the same time telling their history with the help of archive material where available.
The enthusiasts behind it
Gary Painter and Gordon Barr have been recording and researching Scotland’s palaces of entertainment since 2000. As well as this website, they also lead the Cinema Theatre Association (CTA) Scotland, which focuses on cinema and theatre buildings north of the border, recording and monitoring their status, providing archive information and advice to researchers and interested parties, and engaging in constructive dialogue with developers, local authority planning departments and Historic Scotland about proposed alterations to buildings with a history of entertainment use.
Gordon has an academic and scientific software development background, starting up this website in 2000. Falling deeper into the heritage rabbit hole, he is now the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) Support Officer for Scotland, a Trustee of Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust, and a member of the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland.
Gary serves the Theatre Royal, Glasgow in triple capacity; as Stage Doorkeeper extraordinaire, BECTU Union representative, and go-to Site Historian.
He can be a total pain in the hole, but makes up for it with unfiltered enthusiasm for the bizarre and musty.
Friends and Volunteers
A network of volunteers means that the website is constantly expanding and there are frequent updates of new material and cinema news. Particularly generous donors have been: Norrie McNamee, Chris Doak.
This project wouldn’t have been possible without the core Cinema information originally collated by Helen Hopwood. The 2.0 version of this website was project-managed by Gillian Boll in 2018.