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Picture Houses

When the Regal Cinema was finally demolished in March 2009 it brought to an end the last vestiges of a glorious era of cinema in Paisley. An era that saw no fewer than eight picture houses running simultaneously. Of these eight only one facade remains although the cinema behind is long gone.

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One of the earliest Picture Houses was the  Royal Animated Pictures at Paisley Cross  - this was later to be the sight of the Glen Cinema - one of the worst disasters to beset Paisley.

It wasn’t until the 1930’s that cinema in Paisley really took off.

On the High Street we had the  Picture House, the La Scala and further along The Regal.

Lawn Street had the Astoria ( affectionally called the Bug-Hut) and in Weighhouse Close was the Palladium.

Further out  there was the Kelburne in Glasgow Road, the New Alex in Orr Street,in the South Side, and The West End Cinema in the West  End .

The entrance to the Paisley Picture House on the High Street,now the entrance to the Paisley Centre.

One by one all these cinema closed down. The La Scala, Picture House, and Regal all became Bingo Halls before they were demolished

When the La Scala.was being demolished a roof collapsed killing two of the workmen.

The West End Cinema was latterly a pool hall before it too was demolished and flats built in its place.

The Palladium too was demolished to make way for the Paisley Centre Car Park after being a warehouse for a local furniture store.

A mysterious fire destroyed the Kelbune Cinema shortly after it closed and retirement flats were built on the site with undue haste.

The La Scala was also well known for it’s fine restaurant staffed by smart, uniformed waitresses. This photo, on the right showed some of the staff of the cinema, including Ruby Balmforth (second from the left). Thanks to Michael Balmforth for this photo.

 

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La Scala at Paisley Cross one of the first “talkies”

LaScala2 Mrs Balmforth

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La Scala Programme

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