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Friday, 18 Aug 2017
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SSA Design Awards 2010 - Winner : Hippodrome Theatre, Pollock Hammond Partnership

The Hippodrome, built in 1911, is the earliest surviving purpose built cinema in Scotland.  It was commissioned by cinema pioneer Louis Dickson and designed by a local architect Mark Steele in a prominent corner position between the historically busy port area and the Main Street of Bo’ness.  It is an A-listed building, in recognition of its importance in the history of cinema and the development of 20th Century architecture. 

The Hippodrome was built during Bo’ness’s heyday as a centre for heavy industry and coal mining as well as one of Scotland’s largest export shipping ports.  Today the town is primarily a commuter town since the decline in the coal industry and dock closure in the mid 20th Century. 

Along with the town’s general decline the Hippodrome was closed as a cinema in the 1960’s and used for nearly 20 years as a bingo hall.

The building lay derelict and empty for nearly 20 years and was subject to damp, fire and vandalism.  It was contributing to the town’s decline and its condition and appearance was detrimental to its significance.

The Hippodrome has now been restored and returned to the use for which it was originally built, a small picture house cinema which is operated by Falkirk Council. 

Much of the original fabric and character has been repaired with a decorative scheme reflecting that of 1926. 

The local community has a new community resource and a revitalised town centre which is a boost to local businesses.