Updated: Aug 12
On 21st March, the Broadway team in a hired Transit van made a very exciting trip to Carlton Bingo in Stirling, formerly the Allanpark Cinema!
The Allanpark was opened in 1938 and would become one of Stirling's most beloved picture palaces through the golden age of cinema, with an auditorium of 1,700! In 1969, the Allanpark was purchased by CAC, the Caledonian Associated Cinemas circuit, and the original auditorium was then twinned in 1977, with two screens of approximately 300 seats. Then, in the early 1990s, CAC would begin to dissolve and part of that company would break away to become Carlton Bingo!
Carlton kept the cinema operation going all the way until 2008, with the Allanpark showing its last film just over 15 years ago. That brings us to the present day and a visit from the Broadway squadron in a hired van, but for what purpose?
Well here we give huge thanks to Carlton who have kindly donated all of the projection room equipment still in situ from the building's cinema era! Each piece of equipment saved from the former Allanpark will be used in the Broadway Cinema of the future. Several pieces of equipment are in perfect working condition, and other valuable heritage items will be stored safely until the time comes to curate the exhibits of a Museum of Scottish Cinemas in the Broadway.
The team at Carlton have been incredibly helpful and shown amazing enthusiasm in helping us protect Scotland's cinema heritage. Our collaboration is to continue too, as the remarkable collection was simply too extensive to pack into our rental van in one day! A return visit is therefore necessary to head back and carefully disassemble the main projectors and towers. Yet today we have already saved a remarkable collection, including two original Peerless Magnarc projector lamphouses converted to xenon, a set of two wonderful Premier rewind benches with a matching storage cabinet, unused 35mm reels of trailers and adverts, a range of film posters, and even an original seat from the cinema's auditorium, with beautifully crafted golden art deco styling and red velvet upholstery!
Another thank you too goes out to David Ferguson from the Projected Picture Trust, who joined us on the visit to help identify and disassemble vital projection components. We would be delighted to collaborate with the Projected Picture Trust in the future, who have done incredible work preserving the projectionist trade and dozens of projectors from across the country.
Our saved collection from Stirling is now safely back in the Broadway, ready to be stored securely until the restoration process is complete!