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St Andrews

New Picture House
117 North Street
http://www.nphcinema.co.uk



The New Picture House in St Andrews opened in 1931. It has a long, narrow auditorium, with a balcony and a barrel-vaulted ceiling. Designed by architects Gillespie and Scott, two dressing rooms were also provided to service a reasonably deep stage, which until recently was used for local amateur shows.



A second screen was added under the balcony in the 1990s, and a third in the other half of the rear stalls in 2002. In 2005, the seating was Screen 1 - 475 seats (in original circle and front stalls); Screen 2 - 124 seats, Screen 3 - 100 seats (both in original rear stalls).

The main auditorium is decorated with a series of paintings of the local area - including the cinema itself - and the embossed letters NPH (for New Picture House) crown the proscenium.

Numerous original decorative features remain intact in the building, including original doors and signage, and remnants of the original gas secondary lighting system (no longer used!).

As of July 2005, the balcony is currently being extended forward onto the projecting roofs of the mini-screens below, to providing additional luxury seating for the main screen.

The Picture House has a long outer foyer with an island paybox, leading to a circular inner foyer with a domed ceiling, from which steps lead up to the balcony.

The original cinema restaurant/cafe, situated under the balcony rake and above the foyer, is now sublet as a bar/restaurant, and accessed from a new entrance to the left of the cinema entrance.

The cinema has an unusual exterior, which creates a covered area over the pavement outside to shelter patrons waiting to pay.

Along with the Campbeltown Picture House, it is now one of only two cinemas in Scotland where one can see a film from the best seats in the house - at the front of a balcony...

A full gallery of interior pictures from the New Picture House can be found here.

Thanks to Paul Carey for allowing us access to the building.

Byre Theatre


Photo courtesy of Harry Rigby
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