La Scala / ABC Cinema

Clydebank’s La Scala cinema opened in 1938 – seating 2,648, it was described as the pride of Clydebank, and survived the Clydebank Blitz unscathed.

Here it is in the 1950s:


(Scottish Cinemas website)

It became an ABC cinema, then closed as a cinema in 1984. Subdivided, the top half became a snooker club, the bottom half a bingo hall. I only explored the top half:

The pride of Clydebank is now in a sorry state.

Up higher, to the battery room:

Cabinets for two mercury vapour rectifiers:

The projection room:

Because of the odd way it was subdivided, the snooker club used one of the original entrances as a beer cellar:

14 Responses

  1. I used to work here when i was younger, abso loved it, I still go on about it to this day, and still say was the best work place ever! Always really curious of the many ghosts storys, real sad t o see it in this state, but still exiting to look at the pics πŸ™‚

  2. Interesting pictures!
    I was the General Manager of the Bingo club downstairs in the period around 1986.
    We conducted a major refurbishment of the premises and to say that there were some ghostly goings on would be an under statement.
    Most certainly a building subject to a significant paranormal activity.
    Fond memories of some great people that I worked with and a happy time!
    I have quite a few pictures of the interior and exterior somewhere, I will have to look them out.

  3. The Cinema is now up for auction with planning permission for redevelopment. Would be great to buy this and stop the demolition. Would be great refurbished.

  4. BRILLIANT PHOTO’S..SHAME TO SEE THE BULIDING WASTED LIKE THAT..SUCH A LANDMARK..SAME AS SINGERS CLOCK..THEY SHOULD NEVER HAVE PULLED THAT DOWN..I REMEMBER WATCHING IT BEING BOMBED DOWN THAT DAY WITH MY GRANDPA …..

  5. So sad this landmark that survived The Blitz is now doomed to demolition, surely something could have been done with it, it could have remained a local attraction with the right investment, Clydebank has lost another treasure, some things are priceless and irreplaceable, part of our towns story and history, gone.

  6. I think the original post is incorrect and the picture was taken the day after the blitz when people gathered at the la Scalia to be registered and rehomed

  7. 2,600 people? Really? Would never have thought that.
    I take it the capacity was reduced at some point over the years, because when I started going there in the 70s, it certainly didn’t look that big…

    1. It was huge; I remember it all through the 50/60s (the Saturday morning minors) when it was one large cinema, stalls and balcony. You ‘Only Live Twice’ (1967) was the last time I was in it; I left Clydebank shortly after that for sunny Ayrshire. What’s really annoying is that nobody took photographs of it, that and a whole load of other buildings, in their heyday. The amount of architecture that have been demolished in Scotland is appalling; what makes it worse is that there is relatively little to none in the way of photographic records for any of it.

      I am finishing off a fairly large painting of the Odeon Renfield Street Glasgow at the moment, where I managed to accumulate sufficient visual material to create its look from the 60/70s. I am just beginning the La Scala now; that one war time photograph is probably the best one, unfortunately its not the exactly the correct angle, so a lot of the imagery is going to have to come from my memory. Oh for a photograph of the foyer.

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