The Hippodrome, Bo’ness

Multi award winning listed Art-Deco cinema restored to screen the latest Blockbusters to the local community.

For details of cinema screenings and box office please see the Falkirk Council website

The Project

The Hippodrome, built in 1911, is the earliest surviving purpose built cinema in Scotland.  It was commissioned by cinema pioneer Louis Dickson and designed by a local architect Mark Steele in a prominent corner position between the historically busy port area and the Main Street of Bo’ness.  It is an A-listed building, in recognition of its importance in the history of cinema and the development of 20th Century architecture. 

The Hippodrome was built during Bo’ness’s heyday as a centre for heavy industry and coal mining as well as one of Scotland’s largest export shipping ports.  Today the town is primarily a commuter town since the decline in the coal industry and dock closure in the mid 20th Century. 

Along with the town’s general decline the Hippodrome was closed as a cinema in the 1960’s and used for nearly 20 years as a bingo hall.

The building lay derelict and empty for nearly 20 years and was subject to damp, fire and vandalism.  It was contributing to the town’s decline and its condition and appearance was detrimental to its significance.

The Hippodrome has now been restored and returned to the use for which it was originally built, a small picture house cinema which is operated by Falkirk Council. 

Much of the original fabric and character has been repaired with a decorative scheme reflecting that of 1926. 

The local community has a new community resource and a revitalised town centre which is a boost to local businesses. 

For details of cinema screenings and box office please see the Falkirk Council website


THANK YOU to the following funders and supporters without whom this project would not have been possible:

Bo’ness Townscape Heritage Initiative (Heritage Lottery Fund), Falkirk Council, Falkirk Environment Trust, Historic Scotland, Manifold Trust, The Scottish Arts Council (technical fit-out).


  • RICS Awards 2011 Scotland (Winner – Community Benefit)
  • RICS Awards 2011 Scotland (Commendation – Building Conservation)
  • Scottish Civic Trust: My Place Awards 2010 (Commendation)
  • Stirling Society of Scottish Architects 2010 (Winner - Best Building)
  • RIAS Andy Doolan Award for Best Building 2010 (Shortlisted)
  • Voted one of Scotland’s best cinema’s by STV channel

"The Hippodrome offers all the comfort and high quality of a modern-day cinema, but with all the glamour of an old-style picture house... If you haven't been yet, treat yourself and go"


Project Details

Building Developer and Owner
Scottish Historic Buildings Trust

Operator upon Completion 
Falkirk Council

Design Team

Pollock Hammond Partnership

Quantity Surveyor
Gardiner Theobald

Structural Engineer

Main Contractor
Watson Construction Group

Project Cost

Total Capital Project Costs:
£2.1 million

Phase 1 Restoration
£1.85 million

Phase 2 Technical Fit-Out

For further project information please download our Project Sheet







Project Sheet

Copyright SHBT 2016