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May 2, 2018

Big screen never fades

Scotland has had a long and at times almost addictive relationship with the cinema. By the late 1930’s, Glasgow had more cinema seats per head of population than any other city in the world and in 1951 the average Scot went to the cinema 36 times a year. It was a matter of civic pride for any town of a certain size to have its own picture house.  One of the very first purpose built cinemas in Scotland was in Campbeltown. 105 years on, the Campbeltown Picture House has been lovingly restored by the community.


Campbeltown Picture House

Campbeltown Picture House is one of the first purpose built cinemas in Scotland, built in 1913.

It survives today as a rare space, largely unaltered from the 1935 remodelling by the original architect Albert V. Gardner – complete with an art nouveau exterior and an equally impressive and unusual ‘atmospheric style’ interior.

The Centenary Project was completed in December 2017, creating a modern cinema destination complete with a second screen, new foyer and café, and spaces for exhibitions, displays, education and community activities.

The restoration project included:

Restoration of the historic auditorium; including modern heating, ventilation and seating.

Restoration of the unique art nouveau frontage of the building.

Transformation of the annexe to provide a new, contemporary foyer and café.

Creation of the multi-purpose exhibition space/meeting room/education room/green room.

Creation of a second state-of-the-art cinema auditorium in the rear courtyard complementing the historic cinema and providing programming flexibility.

A programme of heritage interpretation and education activities focused on the history of the Picture House, of cinema, and of Campbeltown’s social and cultural life.

Improved energy use throughout the venue including a modern efficient central heating system powered by a biomass wood-pellet boiler, extensive insulation, and a 40Kw photo-voltaic array on the roof.

Increased storage space for equipment, materials and furniture to support educational activities and business meetings.

Improved accessibility throughout.

Also included are three spaces available for hire that allows them to host private screenings, corporate events, meetings, social groups, conferences and birthday parties.

The picture house is owned by Campbeltown Community Business Ltd (CCB), a social enterprise committed to transforming the cinema into the principal cultural and entertainment venue for Kintyre. For further info, contact: