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100 years old and counting

February 1st, 2020 by Andrew Poole


100 Years Old And Counting…

Not me, the cinema! Would you believe the Pavilion building turns 100 this summer? One hundred years of running films to the good people of Galashiels and the wider Scottish Borders.


The Pavilion as it was in 1920

Construction began in early 1910’s and stopped for the First World War, then continued in 1918 and the building finally opened in May 1920 as a theatre and the first film presentation followed in June.

The building went through a major structural change in the mid 1950’s when the old balcony of the auditorium was extended out to form the upstairs single screen cinema, and a bingo hall was formed downstairs.

At that time the theatre fly-tower (used to haul stage scenery up and down) was closed off and became unused for over 40 years!

In the mid 1990’s a significant refurbishment took place to create two additional screens in the closed-off fly-tower, an additional screen in the old Digby’s nightclub area and a full refurbishment of the existing screen 1.

It’s gone through a few names in its time; it started out as the Playhouse, then became the Capital, then the Kingsway and for the past 27 years has been called the Pavilion. And yes, I know, that’s confusing because there used to be a “Pavilion” cinema on Channel Street.

Memories are made at the movies!

We’re still planning how we’re going to celebrate this milestone! And we’ll share these plans with everyone once we have them.

In the mean time, we do want to hear from anyone who visited the Pavilion in the past. We’re inviting all our customers to share their experiences with us. We’re particularly keen to hear from those customers who used to visit the Pavilion back when it was the Playhouse or the Capital.

Perhaps you met your partner here. Was the Playhouse where you had your first date? And do your great grandchildren now visit the Pavilion? Did you used to work here many years ago? Did you sell tickets? Where you an “ice cream girl?” What films did you come to see?

We plan to gather all these stories from our amazing customers and create a “Pavilion Memories Wall” inside the Pavilion.

If you have any photos of the building from years gone by, we’d love to see them also. If we get enough photos we’re also planning to create a gallery wall to showcase these.

Getting in touch is easy! Just head over to our “Memories” page and fill in the form. You can also send in a photo using that web page. If your photo isn’t on a computer, I’d be happy to scan it in for you, provide you with an electronic version for you to keep, and we may be able to use it on our “wall”.

You can find our “Memories” page here: Pavilion Cinema Memories

New logo

Athough we just “re-branded” last year, as this year is our centenary, we thought we should amend our logo to reflect this milestone. So, I’m delighted to share with you our shiny new centenary logo below.

This building’s history in the town of Galashiels is enduring, and my family are all very aware that our tenure in this cinema is merely a period of that history. Eventually we will move on, and when we do the responsibility to continue showing films and providing excellent service will pass to someone else.

But for now, we are delighted to hold the responsibility of celebrating this incredible milestone with our customers – old and new.

For your viewing pleasure

Regular visitors to my blog will know by now I always recommend a film that’s not already in my “Top 5 favourite films” list.

I’m a huge Coen brothers fan. “Burn After Reading” had me literally falling off my chair with laughter the first time I saw it. I was getting strange looks from the rest of the audience, which were nothing as numerous as they should have been, as I choked the tears back. The main cast are on absolute top form with Frances McDormand (Joel Coen’s wife), Brad Pitt, George Clooney and John Malkovic all putting in Oscar-worthy performances – indeed the film picked up a few Golden Globes and BAFTA nominations. It’s a crazy plot, using the Coen’s whacky humour – which luckily aligns very well with my own – and a razor sharp script. Lots of sweary words, so it’s not one for the kids, but adults should enjoy if you give it a try.

“Burn After Reading (2008)”

I hope you enjoyed this post. Many thanks to everyone who’s been keeping up with my ramblings.

Regular visitors will know I’ve been recounting my Dad’s tales from the projection room – and his projection-room-based living room! I’ll be returning to that story next month.



Comments or questions?

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