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Aberdeen Cinemas: La Scala / Majestic
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Aberdeen Cinemas: La Scala / Majestic

Historic Photographs
David Oswald
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Aberdeen Cinemas: La Scala / Majestic
Historic Photographs
Aberdeen Cinemas: La Scala / Majestic
This photograph from the collection of the Aberdeen Journals Archive shows the Majestic Cinema on Union Street in 1972. This super-cinema at 234 Union Street was designed by architect Thomas Scott Sutherland and was built on the site of Aberdeen's first purpose-built picture house, La Scala.

A public company called Caledonian Theatres Ltd., with James Brebner of the Belmont as managing director, was formed for the purpose of acquiring the site of La Scala and some nearby buildings and constructing a large new cinema.

The Majestic opened on 10th December 1936 with a film called Eliza Comes to Stay as its main feature. In his autobiography, Sutherland states that the Majestic was his finest design. Michael Thomson in Silver Screen in the Silver City suggests that the cinema's style could be described, "without too much facetiousness", as "Sutherland Perpendicular".

Sutherland's characteristic long window panels were set in side panels on the building's Kemnay granite front. Decorative neon stripes were placed between each column. At the top of the front elevation was the neon "Majestic" sign and below that, in the centre, was the space to advertise the venue's programme.

In 1938 James F. Donald (Aberdeen Cinemas) Ltd. acquired Caledonian Theatres and the Majestic operated as part of the Donald circuit from then on. In time the cinema closed down with the site marked for redevelopment. The Majestic showed its last film, Kelly's Heroes, on Saturday 29th September 1973.

The cinema and the neighbouring Clydesdale Bank building were soon demolished. On the site was built a new £1.5 million office block called Caledonian House. This was opened on 25th February 1976.

[Information primarily sourced from Silver Screen in the Silver City (1988) by Michael Thomson]

Image © Aberdeen Journals Ltd.
Union Street
2. Copyright known - held by third party
Majestic 1972-11-14 (C)AJL
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