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George Cinema, Portobello
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.
The Grand Opening Ceremony, performed by Bailie Edward took place on Thursday, 30 March in 1939 at 2.30pm, and the feature film of the opening programme was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. 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, also responsible for the Dominion Cinema in Morningside, Edinburgh. 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.
The George Cinema was threatened with demolition as a developer applied for planning consent for 20 privately owned flats. The City of Edinburgh Planning Authority refused consent to demolish the art deco cinema. An appeal was lodged in April 2018 by the developer, with an inspection to be made by the Reporter on 13 August 2018. Fresh proposals for redevelopment were submitted in early 2021, and these were opposed by local Councillors.
- Historic Environment Scotland. "14 Bath Street, The George, formerly The County (LB26818)". Retrieved 7 July 2020.
- Baird, George. Places of Entertainment in Edinburgh, Part 4, Portobello.
- "Open Next Week". The Evening Dispatch. 24 March 1939.
- "Public taste in films". The Scotsman. 1939.
- "Dictionary of Scottish Architects - DSA Architect Biography Report (November 19, 2019, 12:03 pm)". www.scottisharchitects.org.uk.
- "Art deco cinema demolition battle reaches hearing". HeraldScotland.
- "The George - Portobello". The George.
- "George planning application – appeal lodged - Public Notices". www.portobellocc.org. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- "Scottish Government - DPEA - Case Details". www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
- "Striking new plans to restore art deco façade of former Portobello cinema". www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
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