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La Scala saved

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la-scalaONE of Helensburgh's best known buildings was saved from demolition with the news that La Scala had been taken over by a nationwide pub chain. Now it has been transformed into a theme pub called The Logie Baird.

Barracuda, 2006 U.K. managed pub company of the year, spent £800,000 on developing the old cinema building at 8 James Street under its upmarket brand, Smith & Jones, with an emphasis on quality wine and food, and brought 30 new jobs to the town centre.

Argyll and Bute Licensing Committee granted a licence, and it opened in the spring of 2007.

The basic building has considerable charm, especially inside. It opened as a cinema in 1913, and had the distinction of being the first local picture house to use tip-up seats.

Its rivals were the Cine Electric in John Street, which later became the Plaza Ballroom, and the Tower at 5 Colquhoun Square.

The arrival of television was the beginning of the end for small local cinemas, and the Tower closed in 1968 and was demolished. La Scala closed as a cinema in 1984 when it became an amusement arcade and snooker club for a few years. After that its future was the subject of much debate until the pub chain stepped in.

  • Photo by Donald Fullarton
Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 April 2010 11:08 )  

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