Globe Picture Playhouse

67-69 Nelson Street,
Aberdeen, AB24 5ER

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Globe Picture Playhouse

In an inner-city suburb to the north of Aberdeen city centre, Bert and Nellie Gates expanded their cinema business by taking over the empty Nelson Street United Presbyterian Church that had been vacated in 1909. A new front extension was added, a new brick rear wall was built and the interior was reconstructed, with a small stage added. On 29th January 1912 the Globe Picture Playhouse opened its doors.

In February 1914 the ‘Aberdeen Journal’ reported of the admonition in court of a 17 year old youth who had been caught throwing ‘electric snuff’ (a form of sneezing powder) in the Globe Picture Playhouse. Apparently this was not an uncommon practice in local cinemas at the time!

In 1927 the Globe Picture Playhouse presented “Big Band Melodious Nights” which proved a great attraction. ‘Talkies’ arrived on 27th October that year with “Happy Days”.

However, at the beginning of 1940 the ‘Globie’, as the cinema was affectionately known, was given over to the armed forces, as an instructional and training centre. It never re-opened for films.

When I visited, in June 2001, the building was occupied by Atmosphere Lighting and Sound, with Snoozy beds and furniture store at the rear. Atmosphere Lighting and Sound remains there to this day (November 2015).

Contributed by David Simpson
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