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Regal Cinema, Shotts, North Lanarkshire

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Regal Cinema, Shotts, North Lanarkshire

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Comments (2)

Neil Gregory, RCAHMS staff

Apart from passing through on the train, I have never been to Shotts and I certainly never went to the Regal Cinema, designed by John Ross McKay, which has been long demolished. I chose this image partly because it represents an era when many little towns throughout Scotland had a picture house. As Charles McKean notes in his Scottish Thirties book, 'the striking innovation of the new animal [cinemas] was that communities which had never before been able to sustain a theatre or music hall were able to sustain a cinema'. Looking at the Regal I can imagine the excitement of heading to the flicks on a Friday night, perhaps enjoying a drink at the bar, buying your sweets at a little booth, and listening to the Wurlitzer organ in anticipation of the film. This drawing was concealed in a roll of drawings that had languished in storage for decades. It emerged when McKay's early work was catalogued as part of the Dick Peddie & McKay Collection in 2002. Ernie Weir's perspective drawing, composed at the beginning of the design process, really jumped out at us amongst the largely technical material. This moderne building must have made quite an impact on the streetscape and the way that the sky has been drawn adds to the drama of the composition. The saloon car out front suggests that a touch of Hollywood glamour was on its way to Lanarkshire. Looking at this picture there's also a sense of sadness for me in that due to the economic and social conditions of later generations - the arrival of TV, video, DVD and the out-of-town multiplex - that cinemas like the Regal, icons of the 1930s, are either facing demolition or are no longer with us.

27th June, 9:28 pm

Kip Kane, The Shotts Lanarkshire

we used to go to the regal on a saturday morning for the matinee around 1969/ 1970 when we were was popular then.



Region: Strathclyde

This design was drawn by E Weir c.1938
Dick Peddie and McKay Collection

Votes: 14


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