Saturday, 16 July 2011


This page here is from a Tele dated May 1989 and is a feature about the history of Dundee's cinemas.
It coincided with the 10th Anniversary of the Steps Film Theatre who put on an exhibition to mark the occasion.
There are over 40 cinemas listed in the index panel, complete with addresses and dates, and there are also plenty of facts & figures in the main feature itself, some of which are quite amusing.
You don't need to be a serious film buff to enjoy the article, so if you fancy a wee read I've scanned it in large sized.
Just give it a click to bring it up.


  1. I'm sure The State let us in with jam jars at least once in the early sixties it might have been a school thing for St Josephs (on the other side of Belfield Road), my first cinema experience was the seven dwarfs & little wolf in The State you always got two films and cartoons in between also birthday acknowledgements with free tickets to the next weeks programme during matinees, I must be about Eighty years old with all the extra birthdays I had, what fun.

  2. I'd never even heard of the State until I read this article!

  3. With me it was almost always the Regal in the Ferry, which in the seventies was in a glorious time warp. I remember it was run by two quite brittle ladies who stood for no nonsense. In between recent(ish) releases it filled in with things like Disney classics and Ealing comedies, quite old films even then. We saw, on the big screen as intended, the unequalled animation of 'Bambi', 'Dumbo' and 'Snow White'. I was also taken to see 'The Maggie', 'Whisky Galore' and even Morecambe and Wise in 'The Intelligence Men'.

  4. I'm sure the Plaza in the Hilltown opened again in the early eighties for a couple of years.....

  5. Like Neale, the Regal was my "local" - I remember going to see The Neverending Story there, circa 1985, about 6 months after it had been released to the "big" cinemas. My main memory is the fact that the audience numbered about 10, even though it was a Friday night, so I guess we shouldn't be too surprised it closed five years or so later.

    I also went to see "Honey I Shrunk The Kids" at the Vic, which must have been a year or so before it too closed - at that stage (1989ish), I think the building was already crumbling.

    As a student at Abertay in the mid 1990s, we used to have lectures in the Steps. Not sure if it's still used for this purpose?

  6. Craig, the Plaza reopened 1975-ish, and lasted as a cinema into the eighties. I read somewhere that it had been opened again after being taken over by Colin Hynd (of amusements fame). Hell, where did I read that?

    And thanks for reminding me of 'The NeverEnding Story', Anon. I now can't get that drippy song out of my head!

  7. Clint Beechwood16 July 2011 at 13:45

    I remember the Plaza opening in the mid-70s, I went to see a double bill of America Grafitti and a Clint Eastwood movie called Joe Kidd.

    I do remember the sound in the cinema was awful

  8. Remember standing in the queue at the Vic for The Fly. I didn't really want to go as I was a tad grossed out at the clips I'd seen but, was with the current squeeze at the time and felt I had to. Was so glad when the grumpy tubby guy with the specs that ran the place came out and told us that there was no point in waiting any longer as the place was full. Phew!
    I never have seen The Fly!

  9. i went to the plaza when i was about 15-must have been 1976, to see the bruce lee films which were X rated. i don't think they cared how old you were.

  10. .
    I think the Plaza must have been the darkest cinema in Dundee...

  11. Used to go to the Plaza circa 1975 also to see the Bruce Lees' ( probably by then on their 2nd or 3rd round). They were always shown with some really bad Run Run Shaw / Golden Harvest Kung Fu fodder. And we were only 14/15 at the time!. We used to Kung Fu fight our way to the bus afterwards!

  12. I am currently writing a definitive history of cinemas and cinema going in Dundee for Dundee Civic Trust.
    Despite having the cooperation of DC Thomson there are still some cinemas of which we have no photos or very poor ones.
    We are particularly looking for good photos of the Oxford/Astoria in Logie Street, the Empire in Rosebank Street, any photos the Regal in Taylor Street Lochee,The Casino Picture Hall in South Road Lochee, The Star Cinema Theatre in Balgay Street in `Lochee, the balgay Street Picture Palace in Lochee. Any of these would be a great help and including them in the book will preserve them for posterity. My email is

  13. I remeber going to the Regal in Broughty Ferry just once to see Blowout starring John Travolta.
    I noticed it was part cinema part Bingo over the week.
    You can see the Bingo board at side of aisle switched off of course during movies.
    Need to pop back and see it again as it still there as a garage.