Opened 8th December 1934
by Aberdeen Astoria Cinema Ltd. Architect. T Scott Sutherland.
Sold to Donald's, 27th March
Tommy Scott Sutherland designed the Astoria Cinema in Clifton Road,
Kittybrewster, which opened on Saturday 8 December 1934.
The Astoria Cinema, Clifton Road, Kittybrewster, Aberdeen, In 1934, a new
cinema was built on part of the old Central Park, just north of
Kittybrewster Auction Marts. Its proximity to the relatively new
housing areas of Kittybrewster, Powis, Woodside and Hilton should
have ensured its success. It was made of concrete over a steel framework, with
the roof sloping in a series of steps to produce the best acoustics. It had a
colour scheme of light pink, ivory and brown with walnut panelling and 2 miles
of Wilton carpet. It closed on Saturday 13th August 1960, re-opening later that
month as a Bingo Hall but that only lasted a few months and it finally
closed in January 1961. In April 1967, it was being demolished and the site
redeveloped as a shopping complex. The cinema had had one of the latest
Compton Theatre Organs, which had been removed piece by piece and restored
to be placed in the hall of Powis Academy. In November 1982, an arson attack
destroyed the organ.
The organ grilles. The guts of the
were behind the grille on the left, whereas the
Compton Organ's workings were on the right.
There was only set of organ pipes on one side of the cinema,
the right-hand side was a dummy designed to balance the other side. the
Capitol was similar.
Closed 13th August
Bingo for a few months.
Astoria Cinema organ.
was first played by
(40's inset) and in later years by
George Blackmore FRCO. The organ was a fine instrument, which had an ever-changing array of lights to
suit the mood of the music.
George, who came from Chatham was often accompanied
by his wife, who was a fine soprano.
George's signature tune was "A Hundred Pipers". Sadly George passed away in
On the demolition of
Astoria, the organ was housed in the main
assembly hall at
Powis School where it continued to give excellent service.
Described as 'one of the most colourful periods in the history
of the school', the project seems to have been greatly enjoyed by everyone at
the school, as well as giving the organ a further lease of life following the
demolition of its original home at the
Compton Illuminated Organ at Powis Academy had originally been situated in
the Astoria Cinema at Kittybrewster, which opened in
1934. It was reputedly the
first of its kind in Britain, but its future was put in doubt in
1967 when the
Cinema building was due to be demolished after it had closed in the previous
year. When the Head Teacher of Powis Academy, Mr Valentine gave his
support for the project to rebuild the organ in the school hall, it transpired
that it had to be dismantled and removed within ten days, at which point the
demolishing work was due to start. Luckily the owners agreed that the organ
could be dismantled and stored at the school 'until its fate was settled'.
What followed was a mass transportation of the organ parts from the building,
including some of the larger pipes being carried by pupils up the
Road 'to the astonished stares of passers-by!'. Partly due to the
unconventional way in which the organ was acquired, it took 6 months for the
authorisation for its purchase to be approved by the City Council, and during
this period the price dropped from
£400. Rebuilding of the organ
took a further 9 months until it produced its first sound at
on 3rd October
It carried on providing music for school assemblies and events for 14 years,
until the hall, including the organ, was suddenly destroyed by fire on 22
started by a pupil with a grievance against