This is an early advertisement for the Bungalow  and the drawing clearly shows how its architecture and décor were influenced by the styles of the Indian sub-continent.

Portobello Picture Houses

This photograph was taken in the early 1950s and the Bungalow had become the Victory. Although a bit faded by time the Eastern influences are still evident.

COUNTY CINEMA, BATH STREET, also known as THE GEORGE

From the Evening News, Saturday, 25 March 1939


"COUNTY CINEMA BATH STREET PORTOBELLO

Phone Portobello 82410   FREE CAR PARK


GRAND OPENING CEREMONY THURSDAY, MARCH 30, 1939 at 2.30 p.m.   

 by BAILIE JAMES EDWARD, J.P.,F.R.S.A.


STUPENDOUS OPENING ATTRACTION EXCLUSIVE TO THE DISTRICT

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (A)

And

LARRY BLAKE, DICK PURCELL & BERYL WALLACE in AIR  DEVILS

Admission: Balcony, 1s. 3d. and 1s.; Children, 9d. and 6d.

Stalls: 9d. and 6d. Children, 6d. and 4d

Matinee Prices till 4 p.m., Saturdays 3 p.m.

Balcony, 9d. and 6d., Children, 4d.

Stalls, 6d. and 4d Children 4d. and 2d.

Deaf Aids on Request

Note: SPECIAL CHILDREN'S MATINEE on SATURDAY APRIL 1ST

AT 11 a.m. to commemorate the Opening, at which each child will receive a Souvenir."

1954 Kinematograph Year Book, pages 415 and 416

"County Cinema, Bath Street, Portobello

Proprietor, County Cinema Co. Seats, 1,284. Prices: 1s. to 2s.5d"


From the Scotsman, Saturday, 29 November 1954

Film Notes "The George – Portobello, Cinema Reconstructed - To be opened Monday November 22nd 1954

Festival Use Envisaged The reconstructed George Cinema, Bath Street, Portobello, formerly the County Cinema, will be used for the showing of foreign and classical films during the next Edinburgh Festival.

Mr George Palmer, the owner, says that this will be done, "in order to meet the demands of the many patrons for this type of film."

The George will be the first cinema in the East of Scotland to use four-track stereo-phonic sound with the wide screen; this system requires 32 loud-speakers in the cinema, 16 of which are behind the screen.

The official opening will be on Monday night, and members of the public in the queue for the cinema will be filmed and will see themselves on the screen later in the week. The festival film for the opening programme will be: The Robe Starring Richard Burton and Jean Simmons"


(The above notes were taken from the Portobello volume of Places of Entertainment in Edinburgh compiled by George F Baird from the monumental and invaluable work, Edinburgh Theatres, Cinemas, and Circuses, 1820 – 1963 produced by his late father, George Baird , between 1959 and 1964.)


Although the striking illuminated central tower was removed when the building converted to a bingo hall the rest of the art deco style facade remains.

CENTRAL PICTURE HOUSE, 281 HIGH STREET also known as the GEORGE

1914 -15 Portobello Street Directory: There was an entry for New Picture House, 281 High Street. But it soon became known as Central Picture House.

Evening News, Monday, 22 March 1915: This was the only advertisement for this house in the year 1915:

"Central Picture House, 281 High Street, Portobello

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: The Slave of the Poppy. Thursday, Friday Saturday: Lead us not into Temptation

No increase in Prices"


1915 Kinematograph Year Book, page 85, New Companies registered during the year. "March 1914:  Central Picture House, Portobello, Ltd. Capital £4,000 in £1 shares.   Registered Office, 104 West George Street,Glasgow."

This extract does not necessarily mean that the Central Picture House was built in 1914. However, between the News advertisement and the Year Book extract, a 'near' date of opening can be guessed at.


Evening News Thursday, 1 October 1942

"Central Picture House 281 High Street, Portobello

CLOSED    UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT

OPENING DATE WILL BE DULY ANNOUNCED"

The Central remained closed until an announcement appeared in the News, November 12th 1942, when it re-opened as the George. The following week the first advertisement with the name George appeared in the News, Monday, November 16th 1942.

1954 Kinematograph Year Book, pages 415 and 416 "George Picture House, 281 High Street, Portobello. Proprietor: Ass. GP Cinemas, 149 West George Street, Glasgow. Seats: 847 Prices: 1s. to 1s. 9d."

Between 1954 and 1961 the name reverted to Central. As such, it finally closed its doors as a Picture House on Saturday, December 9th 1961. The last advertisement as a Picture House was on Saturday, December 2nd 1961. There is an entry for The Central Picture House in the 1961-62 Street Directory.





(From Places of Entertainment in Edinburgh - Portobello)


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