The Doric Columns
Grand Central Picture House
Grand Central Cinema, 236 George Street.
Opened 3rd April 1922 by Donald's in former store. Seated 730. Reconstructed and extended, Re-opened 30th December 1929. Architect. George Watt. Seated 1,640. Council noted serious short-fall in standards - seating would need to be reduced to one-third of present capacity in June, 1981. Closed 17th October 1981 (same day as Queen's). Demolished 1984 for housing.
The Grand Central opened for
circuit of cinemas, and was a conversion of
286 George Street,
in the northeast of the City Centre. The seating capacity of 730 was contained
in a modest single storey building, with a small balcony in the largely
unadorned auditorium. Pilasters on the sidewalls supported fake ceiling beams to
provide the only real decorative touches, with crimson seats, cork linoleum and
carpets underneath. The foyer was entered through three sets of double doors,
with a central pay box inside, to either side of which were stalls and balcony
entrances. Opening the cinema was the main feature, "Over the Hill", with
a full supporting programme.
Inside, the changes were even more
dramatic. The capacity of the auditorium had more than doubled to 1,640, and the
decoration was partially in the "atmospheric" style, which had proved popular in
America, but was less common at this time in the UK. Two platforms flanked the
sidewalls to either side of the proscenium, one supporting atmospheric elements
of the decor, the other the orchestra. Arched niches under these platforms were
filled with lighting and plants, whilst the platform itself was edged with a
small balustrade. On the walls, painted murals around the proscenium and the
sidewalls depicted hanging vegetation, clouds and further balustrades. The
proscenium was framed on either side by decorated pilasters, which were topped
by capitals supporting a sweeping arch over the top. A repeated pattern of small
square coffering decorated both the barrel-vaulted ceiling, and the underside of
the balcony in the rear stalls. Panels of plaster garlands also festooned the
front of the balcony. Large octagonal ceiling lights that ran along the middle
of the barrel-vaulted ceiling illuminated the space. The grand reopening was
attended by the Lord Provost, who viewed "The Three Rings" as the main feature
during an evening that also saw a performance by a Welsh Miners Quartet.
The building itself survived until 1984, when it was swept away for housing.
with questions or comments about the design
of this web site.