State Cinema

205 Great Junction Street, Leith,
Edinburgh, EH6 5LW

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State, Leith, Edinburgh

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Located in the Leith district of Edinburgh, the State Cinema opened on 19th December 1938 with Madeleine Carroll in "Blockade" and Gene Autry in "Boots and Saddles". It was a luxury super-cinema, designed in a streamline Moderne style by architect Sir James Miller. It was built by the independent operators Miller, Albin and McLaughlin group. The building also contained four shops, two billiard saloons and a skittle alley. Located on a prominant corner site, the sweeping curved entrance had a tower feature on the left hand side which was topped by a pagoda roof.

Inside the auditorium the lighting system was by Holophane, which played various colours onto the walls and ceiling. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels and the proscenium was 48 feet wide.

The State Cinema closed on 11th May 1972 with Richard Burton in "Where Eagles Dare". It was converted into a bingo club, latterly a Mecca Bingo Club. When this closed it was expensively converted in the Babylon Nightclub, but this has now closed. In February 2005 plans were proposed to demolish the auditorium and retain the facade and foyer as an entrance to a new block of flats on the site. The snooker clubs continue to operate within the building.

On 29th March 1995, Historic Scotland designated the State Cinema a Grade B Listed building.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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