Inside the Repurposed Auditorium of Edinburgh’s Demolished Scotia Cinema

Scotia-Cinema-Haymarket-Edinburgh (Image: Edinburgh Evening News)

Contractors began removing the 101-year-old roof from Edinburgh‘s former Scotia Cinema in December 2013, and by the beginning of the new year the historic building had been completely demolished.

Scotia-Cinema-Haymarket-Edinburgh-demolition (Image: Urban Ghosts)

The old picture house, which stood at 90 Dalry Road, opened in 1912 as the Haymarket Cinema, and is believed to have been the second oldest cinema in Scotland – and certainly the oldest in the capital. It became the Scotia in 1946 and and screened its last film in 1964.

Scotia-Cinema-Haymarket-Edinburgh-3 (Image: Stuart Kelly /

planning application has now been made in a bid to develop the site as student accommodation.

Scotia-Cinema-Haymarket-Edinburgh-2 (Image: Stuart Kelly /

The Scotia’s facade and entrance foyer survives as a tattoo parlour, while the adjacent Tweed Wine Stores lives on as Dickens Bar.

Scotia-Cinema-Haymarket-Edinburgh-4 (Image: Stuart Kelly /

And when the movie reel ceased turning, a gaping hole was smashed through the abandoned picture house’s gable end for use as a parking garage for rental cars. Even in this mundane afterlife, the old cinema still clung to some of its former glory. The seats and balcony may have been ripped out, but other tell-tale featured remained evident.

Scotia-Cinema-Haymarket-Edinburgh-5 (Image: Stuart Kelly /

Jonathan Melville, who runs the website, told the Edinburgh Evening News: “The Haymarket was one of the first cinemas to be built in Scotland. It and the Hippodrome cinema in Bo’ness opened in the same year, but it is generally accepted the Hippodrome was the first – and it was recently renovated.

Scotia-Cinema-Haymarket-Edinburgh-6 (Image: Stuart Kelly /

“Sadly, the Haymarket wasn’t listed, but you could still see bits of how it used to be – the ceiling was still there – and it gave you an idea of what cinemas must have felt like 100 years ago.

“It’s tricky – buildings do get old and change, but it’s a shame to lose part of your history and not recognise it.”

Keep Reading:
Visit the Remains of Dalry Road Railway Station
Beautiful Michigan Theater Becomes Massive Parking Garage


About the author: Tom





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