Victoria Cinema

71 W. High Street,
Inverurie, AB51 3QQ

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Additional Info

Architects: Thomas Scott Sutherland

Functions: Bar

Nearby Theaters

Victoria foyer 1970s

When the Victoria Cinema was opened in 1935, Inverurie was known nationally for its large railway locomotive works and was also a thriving market town. The locomotive works are long gone, but the town continues to prosper as a well-appointed commuter base for Aberdeen, some 17 miles to the south. The same can’t be said for the Victoria as a cinema, although it was one of the last purpose-built picture houses in the north east of Scotland to close, in 1998. The building, little changed, now housed a popular bar/nightclub called Oscars.

The Victoria Cinema was a locally funded enterprise but the money ran out when the building was barely half finished. Completion was funded on a public issue of shares, the major holder being the enterprising architect himself, Tommy Scott Sutherland. A wise move, since the Victoria Cinema proved popular and paid for itself within five years. It has often been alleged that the unusually high auditorium, seating 456 in a stadium-style arrangement was originally meant to have a balcony, but the cash flow problems during the building work scuppered this idea. Nevertheless, it was an attractive venue with excellent picture quality, due to the straight throw from the projection booth to the screen. I know from personal experience that it was latterly the only cinema in the north east where, most nights, you could park right outside the entrance.

In June 2017 it was converted into a pub in the J.D. Wetherspoon chain, and is named The Gordon Highlander.

Contributed by Jim Brooks

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

DavidSimpson on July 6, 2017 at 2:22 pm

In March 2011 pub company J. D. Wetherspoon was given permission to undertake a £1.1m conversion of the former Victoria. The resulting pub was scheduled to open on 7th June 2011; presumably it did open on that date.

It is named The Gordon Highlander, in commemoration of the only survivor of the ten locomotives built at the Inverurie Loco Works. (The loco itself is on display at the Scottish Railway Museum.) There is, however, some acknowledgement of the building’s cinematic past in a heritage board commemorating architect Tommy Scott Sunderland.

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