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Exterior view of the George (2016)

The George Cinema is a former Art Deco cinema on Bath Street in Portobello, Edinburgh. The building opened in 1939 as the County Cinema. For many years a bingo hall, it is a Category C listed building.[1]

HistoryEdit

The Grand Opening Ceremony, performed by Bailie Edward took place on Thursday, 30 March in 1939 at 2.30pm,[2][3] and the feature film of the opening programme was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.[4] The George was the first cinema in the east of Scotland to use the four-track stereophonic sound with a wide screen. The system required 32 loud-speakers in the cinema, 16 of which were behind the screen.

The George Cinema was designed by Thomas Bowhill Gibson[5], also responsible for the Dominion Cinema in Morningside, Edinburgh.[6] The promoters where Messrs Scott Paulo & Company The cost of the cinema was £20,000 and upon opening is seated 1600 people. The cinema featured wide knee-room, saucer shape layout ensuring no seat is immediately behind another, Western Electric Mirrophonic sound and Holophone lighting system.[3]

 
Interior view of the George from the balcony, showing the false ceiling and several original features (2016).

The George Cinema was threatened with demolition as a developer applied for planning consent for 20 privately owned flats.[7] The City of Edinburgh Planning Authority refused consent to demolish the art deco cinema.[2] An appeal was lodged in April 2018 by the developer, with an inspection to be made by the Reporter on 13 August 2018.[8][9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "14 Bath Street, The George, formerly The County". Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b Baird, George. Places of Entertainment in Edinburgh, Part 4, Portobello.
  3. ^ a b "Open Next Week". The Evening Dispatch. 24 March 1939.
  4. ^ "Public taste in films". The Scotsman. 1939.
  5. ^ http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=200969
  6. ^ "Art deco cinema demolition battle reaches hearing".
  7. ^ "Help Us Save the George".
  8. ^ "George planning application – appeal lodged - Public Notices". www.portobellocc.org. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Scottish Government - DPEA - Case Details". www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 May 2018.

External linksEdit