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Alarm raised over Possilpark demolition as cinemas go out of vogue

December 20 2023

Alarm raised over Possilpark demolition as cinemas go out of vogue

An application for a demolition warrant has been made for the former Vogue Cinema at Balmore Road, Possilpark, citing the disrepair of the Art Deco landmark.

G&J Demolition wish to demolish the 1933 venue in its entirety, including a distinctive red sandstone facade, following decades of neglect during which the building operated as a bingo hall, social club and latterly a kilt hire shop.

Raising public awareness of the plans campaigner Callum Forrester told Urban Realm: "The demolition application states that the building is in a state of disrepair; however, I do not believe that it is in such a ruinous state that demolition is the only viable option. The facade of the building to Balmore Road features a prominent Art Deco elevation in red sandstone, which is a material uncommon in Art Deco architecture but speaks strongly to the sense of place and the community that the cinema once served. I would therefore hope that any development of the site would involve a facade retention, rather than a full demolition.

"Further to the architectural significance of the primary elevation, the cinema represents a historical significance to the wider city of Glasgow. It is a lasting example of a legacy of cinema, which flourished in the city at its height in the 1930’s and 40’s and gave Glasgow its title of ‘Cinema City’. Glasgow was home to 144 cinemas and boasted more cinema seats per head than any other city in the world at its peak. Cinema was intrinsic to Glasgow’s cultural heritage among all of its social classes, with Glaswegians visiting the cinema on average 51 times a year, considerably higher than counterparts in other areas of the country.

"Social and cultural changes in the 50’s and 60’s led to the closure of almost all of the cinemas in the city and the demolition of many. Only around 40 remain in various forms, although only 2 still as cinemas, the GFT and the Grosvenor. Many have undergone processes of adaptive reuse to maintain their presence, legacy and historical value to the city of Glasgow. As one of the only remaining examples in the North of the city, I believe it is important that this one remains."

Local councillors are being petitioned to save the landmark by serving a building preservation notice, an interim measure that would compel the owners to hold off any works pending consideration of its listed building status. Confirming that this has already taken place Paul Sweeney MSP said: “I was surprised that the building wasn’t already listed, given how rare art deco cinemas like these are in Scotland today, and I support a listing application for the building, which I understand is due to be determined by January. The application to demolish the building is unwelcome and should be withdrawn. After receiving concerns from local constituents about the demolition attempt, I have asked Glasgow City Council to serve a Building Preservation Notice under Section 3 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.”

This follows the successful emergency listing of a former sawmill in Port Dundas, forcing the applicant to seek a listed building application. Balmore Road has been declared a priority regeneration area in the North Glasgow Regeneration Framework.   


Ronnie Patrick
#1 Posted by Ronnie Patrick on 20 Dec 2023 at 16:53 PM
Why not keep the original facade if they are going to build flats in its place like the flats that were built in Muirend on the site of the Toledo cinema which was an art deco build to.
kenny robertson
#2 Posted by kenny robertson on 22 Dec 2023 at 08:52 AM
Keep this beautiful old building for future generations to enjoy
George stirling
#3 Posted by George stirling on 22 Dec 2023 at 09:44 AM
This is crazy to demolish this iconic facade. This represents possilpark and the surrounding areas. I went to this cinema when I was 6 years old. They kept the old facade at Anniesland and built flats behind it.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#4 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 22 Dec 2023 at 13:12 PM
Not sure we are getting the full story -- as in who uses the building and what is being planned for the site after demolition.

From memory the van converters seemed to be using some of the space as offices -- have they moved out?

Tough gig to fix / re-use the fascade -- street corner needs work to bring it back up to scale.

Missing link in all of this is what are they going to replace it with -- light industrial shed or the RenCen of Balmore Road?
Gary Urquhart
#5 Posted by Gary Urquhart on 23 Dec 2023 at 13:44 PM
It's just so hypocritical to apply to demolish due to "disrepair" when it's had the same owners....and same local authority planners...sitting watching it. Also makes a nonsense of "net zero" ambitions when we seem incapable of reusing or repurposing anything in Glasgow ..????????
Kenneth Rybarczyk
#6 Posted by Kenneth Rybarczyk on 24 Dec 2023 at 16:05 PM
Having the building listed is not a solution. Look at the old Possil Railway station only a very short distance away. It IS listed but has been lying derelict for the past 30 years. Once a very attractive example of Victorian architecture, it's now a complete eyesore with no hope of rescue. There are many other examples of listed buildings in a similar state in Glasgow.
Jason carroll
#7 Posted by Jason carroll on 25 Dec 2023 at 13:58 PM
All corrupt glasgow developers land owners council planners all greed for money don't give shit about heritage been going on for 50 years demolition owners all in on it and the fire starters
#8 Posted by buthead on 11 Jan 2024 at 21:14 PM
thought Allied owned it, as they own most of lomond st

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