Demolition works begin on historic Glasgow cinema on Balmore Road

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The building on Balmore Road has been empty since the late 1990s

Demolition work has begun on the site of a former Glasgow cinema building in Possilpark which has lay empty since the 1990s.

The building originally opened as the Mecca in August 1933, with it being designed by James McKissack who is best known as the architect of Glasgow's first purpose-built 'art-house' cinema - the Cosmo which is now known as the GFT on Rose Street.

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During its heyday, the cinema could seat up to 1,620 people with the venue being built to accommodate one of Glasgow's municipal housing estates being developed in the north of the city.

In January 1950 it was sold to the Singleton circuit, and renamed Vogue which it traded as until April 1968 when the venue became a bingo hall.

The auditorium space has not been used for over 25 years with various retail spaces occupying the ground floor of the building.

Despite campaigners hoping to save the building submitting an application to Historic Environment Scotland for the building to be given listed status, an application to demolish the building was granted by Glasgow City Council in December.

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Speaking about the situation, a local Glasgow MSP said: "There has been a lot of local dismay about the potential loss of this historic cinema building in Possilpark which is a local landmark.

"However, there are also considerations to be had about its future development, Allied Vehicles are a major company in the area and have expansion plans so there has to be a balance struck about retaining local heritage and economic development.

"There is an opportunity to reach a compromise where some parts of the most architecturally interesting parts of the building might be able to be retained whilst building new development. I'm interested in exploring those opprotunities.

"We'll wait and see what happens with it. I understand the council is looking into the matter with the owner and hopefully we can find a way forward which allows for the growth of Allied Vehicles which is a major industrial company in the north of Glasgow employing 600 people and also looking at ways which we can safeguard the areas heritage so happy to be involved in those conversations going forward."

GlasgowWorld has today been informed that Glasgow City Council will serve a Building Preservation Notice that will permit the listing to be implemented.

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