The Open Road at Govanhill Picture House

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Govanhill Picture House

49 Bankhall Street

Glasgow

G42 8SW

United Kingdom

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The Open Road is an early experimental colour travelogue of 1920s Britain, featuring scenes from Glasgow.

About this Event

Travelling by car, it was shot with a single camera using Claude Friese-Greene’s own experimental colour film process. It was restored in 2006 by the BFI, allowing this historic footage to be seen by a wide audience for the first time.

Opening to the public for the first time since 1974, the historic Govanhill Picture House is about to get a new lease of life. Find out about ideas to regenerate a unique building and bring film back to the southside.

Today, the projection box is almost all that remains of the historic cinema interior, last used in 1961 to screen Song Without End. For Doors Open Day, we are inviting you to reimagine the building’s story, recalling the year it opened with a projection of Claude Friese-Greene’s silent travelogue The Open Road (1925).

This B-listed cinema was designed by Eric A Sutherland, and still features key elements of its unique Egyptian-styled facade. Glazed ceramic columns and a moulded scarab above the entranceway are a rare surviving example of this type of architectural embellishment in the UK.

Following the building’s change of use from cinema to bingo hall to warehouse, the interior has now been almost completely stripped out, with only traces remaining such as the original projection box, roof struts and scraps of decor. It is now being rescued from dereliction, with a new roof, upper floor and exciting plans for its future.

For Doors Open Days 2019, we have opened up a small section of the ground floor, with a miniature cinema and exhibition space. The upper floor is not yet accessible to the public.

Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI.

Date and Time

Location

Govanhill Picture House

49 Bankhall Street

Glasgow

G42 8SW

United Kingdom

View Map

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