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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
Curtain to rise on first cinema
The Hippodrome in Bo'ness
The Hippodrome was designed by Bo'ness architect Matthew Steele
Work to restore Scotland's first cinema to its former glory is aiming to get underway later in the year.

The Hippodrome in Bo'ness, near Falkirk, opened in 1912 and operated as a cinema and then a bingo hall until it closed in the 1980s.

It is hoped that funding from several organisations will help get the 1.7m project underway in October.

The project aims to see the A-listed building reopen as a cinema and visitor centre in the middle of 2008.

The move is at the heart of a 5m heritage initiative to restore the historic buildings of Bo'ness.

Community consultation

It is hoped that a wide variety of films will be screened at the cinema, including classic and contemporary productions as well as art house and silent movies.

The visitor centre will recount the story of Scotland's first cinematic venture as well as the many aspects of the history of Bo'ness.

The Hippodrome in Bo'ness
The Bo'ness Hippodrome opened in 1912

The cinema project, currently the subject of a community consultation, is aiming to benefit through funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Falkirk Council, Historic Scotland, BP and Scottish Enterprise.

The distinctive round stone design of the movie theatre, which seated more than 1,000 people on two levels, was created by local architect Mathew Steele.

The building was the inspiration of Louis Dickson, who showed the current newsreels and film features of the day, along with films he shot himself of local events such as the Bo'ness Fair.

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