Glasgow & West Scotland

'Oldest' Picture House in Campbeltown celebrates 100th birthday

The Picture House in 1913 and in 2013
Image caption The Picture House was opened to the public for the first time in May 1913

Scotland's oldest purpose built, continuously operating cinema has celebrated its 100th birthday.

The Picture House in Campbeltown in Argyll and Bute opened in May 1913.

Relatives of the founders and original staff were among those taking part in anniversary celebrations.

A new fundraising initiative, the Centenary Project, is under way to renovate and revive the interior of the art deco building.

One of only two category A listed picture houses in Scotland, it opened to the public at a time when Campbeltown was particularly renowned for its vibrant community and thriving fishing and whisky industries.

The local people, after travelling to Glasgow to visit the cinema there, decided that their town needed a picture house and Albert V Gardner was approached to design the building in 1912 and subsequently renovated it in 1934.

In the mid-1980s the cinema was taken over by Campbeltown Community Business, a charitable organisation, and has since survived on local support.

Several projects have taken place to restore The Picture House, with the help of grants from Historic Scotland and The Heritage Lottery Fund.

Jane Mayo, chairwoman of The Picture House said: "We are very proud to be celebrating The Picture House's centenary.

"The Picture House is one of the earliest surviving cinemas still showing films in the UK and it attracts as many visitors for its striking architecture as for the films it shows."

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "The Centenary Project will breathe new life into this historic building.

"The unique interior will not only be restored to its former glory but also thoroughly modernised to provide an exceptional night out.

"The magic of a night at the cinema is all too often lost but The Picture House is a great example of how investment in local cinema is not only helping to regenerate town centres like Campbeltown but is also contributing to a vibrant cultural scene."

It is hoped funds raised during the Centenary Project will be used to provide more comfortable seating and an expanded kiosk.

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