Video: The former Edinburgh cinemas that been given a new lease of life

Edinburgh has seen dozens of picture houses come and go over the years, says Evening News Retro Reporter David McLean.

From the more than 100 venues that have opened in the city since the dawn of cinema, only a small portion still stand and just a handful have retained their original use.

Sign up to our History and Heritage newsletter

Sign up to our History and Heritage newsletter

The former Capitol Cinema on Manderston Street, Leith, opened in 1928 and was one of many picture houses in the Leith district.

Most recently the building has served as bingo hall, the fate of so many former cinema buildings but we are fortunate in many ways to still have its physical presence.

Likewise, the former State Cinema on nearby Great Junction Street; its old auditorium has been demolished but the facade remains as part of a new luxury flats development.

Other former Edinburgh cinemas that have found a new lease of life since closing, include the old Roxy on Gorgie Street - now a cake shop and the Edinburgh Playhouse.

The 3000-seater Playhouse opened as a super cinema in 1929 and today of course it still stands as one of the city's premier theatre venues

The former State Cinema on Leith's Great Junction Street is being redeveloped into luxury housing.

For further examples of old Edinburgh cinemas that have found new uses, click here.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription at


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.