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Campbeltown Picture House

Located on Hall Street, facing the harbour, the A-listed Campbeltown Picture House is of international importance as one of the earliest purpose-built cinemas in Scotland and, until the re-opening of the Hippodrome in Bo'ness, was the oldest still in regular use. This unique white Art Nouveau bow-fronted building with its extensive glazing and distinctive saucer-roof and cupola was the work of noted cinema architect Albert V. Gardner in 1912-13 and renovated by him 1934-35. As the popularity of cinema declined, part-time bingo sessions were introduced in the early 1960s. Having been owned and operated by the Armour family until 1983, it finally closed in 1986. However, the premises were acquired by a local trust, the Campbeltown Community Business Association, who remodelled the interior in 1988, re-opened the cinema the following year and run the cinema as a community enterprise. The original projection room and the two stylised boxes - known as the 'wee houses' - were retained. Once seating an audience of 640, the interior remains undivided, giving patrons a choice of the stalls or balcony, although the capacity has been reduced to 197. The frontage was restored in 2005 but this has been followed by the Centenary Project, which aims to reopen the cinema in 2017 following a complete restoration. This will create a modern cinema complete with a second screen, new foyer, café, and spaces for exhibitions, displays, education and community activities, while carefully restoring the frontage once again, together with the historic auditorium. The new second auditorium was built in the rear courtyard and provides a further 54 seats and 2 wheelchair spaces.


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