Arts Talks and Workshops

Hippodrome Talk - Scotland's Cinemas on Screen

Scotland has some of the most architecturally diverse cinema buildings of anywhere in the world. This talk - hosted in the perfect venue of Scotland’s oldest purpose built cinema - will cover the full range of cinema history, from converted roller-skating rinks, via the earliest purpose built halls, the peculiarly Scottish 'back-court' theatres, to the finest thirties art deco super-cinemas, stopping off to highlight some of the most interesting buildings, eccentric architects, and unusual discoveries (including camels, monkeys and prancing deer!) along the way.

It will cover cinemas that were, cinemas that are, and cinemas that might have been. Although many buildings have been demolished or converted, there are still a lot of interesting gems to discover if you know where to look…

The Scottish Cinemas & Theatres Project ( has been recording and researching Scotland's palaces of entertainment for over 20 years.

Gordon Barr is the Development Manager for Scotland for the Architectural Heritage Fund, a UK-wide charity set up in 1976 to provide advice, grants and loans to promote the community led regeneration of historic buildings at risk.

Previously, he was the Heritage Development Manager for the Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust in Glasgow, working on the multi-million pound regeneration project, with a focus on researching and promoting the history of the area, and develop training, learning and educational opportunities relating to the historic industries as depicted in a unique series of stained glass windows from 1878.

Gordon has an academic background, as well as more than twenty years experience working on projects related to the social and architectural heritage of cinema and theatre buildings in Scotland, including working on a number of projects alongside Historic Scotland's Listing Team. In 2011 he was shortlisted for the Scottish Civic Trust's 'Civic Champion' award.


10 Hope Street Bo'ness
EH51 0AA

01324 506850


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