New book highlights Hippodrome

THE revamped Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness is featured in a new book.

“The Spotlight on Scotland’s Cinemas” is now available to download for free from the Historic Scotland website – www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

The new publication comes just a few days before the Hippodrome re-opens its doors after a £2.15 million revamp.

Falkirk Council’s leisure convener, Labour Councillor Adrian Mahoney, said: “Cinemas like the Hippodrome are an important part of our heritage and it’s good to see this new booklet being produced by Historic Scotland, in association with the Cinema Theatre Association (CTA).

“I know the restoration of the Hippodrome has provoked many happy memories amongst local people and I hope this new booklet encourages people to see the place for themselves when it opens for business next week.”

The Hippodrome, opened in 1912, claims to be Scotland’s first purpose-built cinema. It was designed by local architect Matthew Steele. It showed its last film to customers in 1975, but will re-open on Monday with a community screening of the hit musical “Mamma Mia”. The Hippodrome will open fully to customers on Thursday, April 9.

Gordon Barr, of CTA Scotland, said: “Cinemas are an important part of our cultural and social history, as well as an often overlooked part of our architectural heritage. Whereas most of Scotland’s major theatres were designed by English theatre specialists, our cinemas were almost all the work of local Scottish architects, leaving a legacy of buildings that are probably more unique and diverse in design than those found anywhere else in the world.”

Other historic cinema buildings featured in the booklet include: the Britannia Music Hall, Glasgow; Campbeltown Picture House; Hillhead Picture Salon, Glasgow; the New Picture House, Fife; the Playhouse, Perth; the Playhouse, Edinburgh; Riddrie Picture House; the New Bedford Picture House, Glasgow and the Bathgate Regal Cinema.

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