Campbeltown Picture House, Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute
It shouldn't surprise us to find a hub of movie culture in what so often feels a rather far flung port town. Campbeltown had been an important centre of the whiskey and fishing industries. It is regaining at least some of that heritage significance bolstered by the Mull Of Kintyre Music Festival and Kintyre Songwriters Festival. The town has a fine museum and nearby that is this fine cinema building.
"Campbeltown Picture House, designed by Albert V Gardner of Glasgow in 1913 in Glasgow School Art Nouveau style, is a Category A Listed building and one of the earliest surviving purpose-built cinemas in the UK....This Grade-A listed building is unique, with a Glasgow school art nouveau exterior and an equally impressive and unusual ‘atmospheric style’ interior. It survives today as a rare space, largely unaltered from the 1935 remodelling by the original architect Albert V. Gardner. The Centenary Project was completed in December 2017 restoring this magnificent building and creating a modern cinema destination complete with a second screen, new foyer and café, and spaces for exhibitions, displays, education and community activities".
The architects for the restoration, Burrell Foley Fischer LLP, have left us a sensitive and intimate building that respects its origins and copes with contemporary needs and usage.
A view from the waterfront.
The foyer has an informative display of the cinema's history and restoration. This includes drawings by the original architect, Albert V Gardner.
I couldn't resist including a picture of this contraption that looks much like an early diving contraption that is on display. Actually it is Mercury-Arc Rectifier. Still confused? Invented in 1902 by Peter Cooper Hewitt, mercury-arc rectifiers or valves were widely used to produce direct current for industrial motors, electric railways, streetcars, radio transmitters and search lights. Here we see it applied to a cinema projector. It is a type of cold cathode gas-filled tube, but the cathode, instead of being solid, is made from a pool of liquid mercury and is therefore self-restoring.
Campbeltown Picture House's own website : https://www.campbeltownpicturehouse.co.uk/about/www.example.com
The Canmore website : https://canmore.org.uk/site/144129/campbeltown-26-hall-street-the-picture-house-cinema