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GRAND CENTRAL PICTURE HOUSE

WHERE IS IT? On Jamaica Street in the city centre, a short walk from Central Station.

Currently home to the Classic Grand nightclub, this five-storey building, constructed in 1860, was originally a warehouse that stored shipments from the River Clyde.

The cinema conversion was designed by Glasgow architect William B Whitie, best known for his winning competition design for the Mitchell Library. Opening in 1915, it showed a mixture of drama, comedy and newsreels, with an orchestra pit to supply the background music. The cinema remained popular until the latter half of the century, when, after World War II, more modern picture houses were built. It tried to find a niche audience with arthouse cinema, but many of the films it showed were either erotica or B-rated horror.

 

The Grand Central closed in 1966, but shortly after being given a category B-listed building status in 1970, it re-opened as the Classic-Grand cinema in 1973, under the auspices of its new owners, Classic Cinemas. It changed name again to the Cannon-Grand, and finally the Curzon, before closing its doors as a cinema chain for good in 1992. For a brief spell it operated as an amusement arcade, but was the site of a fire in 2001. Most of the original art deco features of the cinema remained intact, and after renovation it opened as the Classic Grand nightclub.

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