Skeabrae Airfield Cinema

Stromness, KW16 3LT

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Skeabrae Airfield Cinema

On the main island of Orkney, this forlorn, derelict building sits in a field alongside the A967 road, south of the turn to The Orkney Brewery and north of the junction with the B9057 road.

During World War II, it was the cinema for Skeabrae Airfield. Originally started by the Admiralty for its own use, the airfield was handed over to the Air Ministry in May 1940 in order to meet urgent Orkney fighter defence requirements.

A new Callender-Hamilton hangar was erected in November 1944 but, reduced to care and maintenance at the end of the war, the airfield was disposed of in 1957.

By 1981, there were about 25 buildings still intact, including the cinema/ decontamination centre (the extension to the south was a chapel). However, in recent years many of those buildings have been demolished. The former cinema now stands in a very isolated position, with the only indication of its former use, apart from the general shape of the building, being the projection ports.

Contributed by David Simpson
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