Basic Site Details

Name: Capitol Cinema
City or county: Aberdeen
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: This replaced the Electric Theatre at 431 Union Street which was reconstructed in 1927 -see separate entry.

It is learnt that plans have been passed to enlarge the Electric Theatre, Union-street, Aberdeen to seat 2,300. The proprietors are Aberdeen Picture Palaces Limited, 2 West Craibstone-street, Aberdeen [Builder 18 December 1931, p1021]

Messrs A Marshall MacKenzie, Son and Clement George, architects, 173a Union Street, Aberdeen, have prepared plans for a new 2,200 capacity super cinema to cost about 80,000 for Aberdeen Picture Palaces Limited on the site of their existing electric theatre in Union-street. [Builder 10 July 1931, p76]

Mr S B Russell, Affleck-street, Aberdeen, has obtained the contract for building work in connection with the reconstruction of the Electric Theatre, Union-street for Aberdeen Picture Palaces Limited. Other sub-contracts have been placed locally. Plans have been prepared by Messrs A Marshall Mackenzie FRIBA and Company, 173 Union-street, Aberdeen. [Builder 7 October 1932 Page 615]

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Cinema  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1429, 431, 433, 441, 442, Union StreetYes 


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 41927  Proposal to convert Electric Theatre into Capitol Cinema
Item 2 of 410 July 1931 Plans prepared, construction not yet begun 
Item 3 of 419321934Build/construction 
Item 4 of 42003 Alteration/conversionInterior divided


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 7David Dominic Scott Stokes A19321934 
Item 2 of 7A Marshall Mackenzie & Son AMay 19321934 
Item 3 of 7A Marshall Mackenzie Son & George AEarly 1932May 1932 
Item 4 of 7Alexander George Robertson Mackenzie AEarly 19321934 
Item 5 of 7Alexander Marshall Mackenzie AEarly 19321933 
Item 6 of 7Clement George AEarly 19321934Historic Scotland suggests that Marshall Mackenzie took over the job and the Clement George plans date from 1927 when it was first planned to rebuild the old Capitol. This is unlikely iin the face of what the Builder 10 July 1931 reports - see above.
Item 7 of 7John Gibb Marr AEarly 19321934 


The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
Item 1 of 2Aberdeen Picture Palaces Ltd1931 work
Item 2 of 2Donald, J F 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 4Morgan, Diane2008The Granite Mile: the story of Aberdeen's Union Street Black & White Publishing, Edinburgh (in collaboration with Evening Express, Aberdeen)pp 169-70
Item 2 of 4RSA1933   544, 558. 559
Item 3 of 4Sharples, J, Walker, D W and Woodworth, M2015The Buildings of Scotland: Aberdeenshire South and Aberdeen London and New Haven: Yale University Pressp170
Item 4 of 4Thomson, Michael Silver screen in the silver city   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5BuilderEarly 1927CXXII p627
Item 2 of 5Builder10 July 1931  p76
Item 3 of 5Builder18 December 1931  p1021
Item 4 of 5Builder7 October 1932  p615
Item 5 of 5Builder9 June 1933CXLIV pp924, 929-930 Illustrations - p929 Photograph of entrance front (RSA exhibition 1933), ground floor plan, p930 interior photograph of auditorium.

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 3Courtesy of Neil DarlingtonInformation sent via DSA website Sent June 2009
Item 2 of 3Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register20547 
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers John Gibb Marr: F no3158 (box 18)