The RIBA Journal has announced that Burrell Foley Fischer’s restoration and remodelling of the Campbeltown Picture House has been included on the 13-strong shortlist for their 2019 MacEwen Award. The award recognises architecture (with engineering and landscape) for 'the common good'. It looks for "built projects that are of real and demonstrable benefit to society, something that architects are well-equipped to achieve”.
The MacEwen judges were "enchanted by both the look of this historic little seafront cinema and by what its reinvention, by a committed community business and a practice with long experience in cinema design, meant." Julia Barfield, one of the judges, remarked: ‘The revival of a little building like this jewel can do something really important to a town.’
Campbeltown Picture House has the joint accolade of being one of Europe’s few surviving atmospheric cinemas and Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema still in operation. The conservation project restored the art nouveau exterior and the historic main auditorium to its 1930s design and provided a new state of the art second screen, café, education room and other facilities.
The restoration was made possible with a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and grants from Coastal Communities Fund, Creative Scotland, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Historic Environment Scotland, Argyll & Bute Council, The Robertson Trust, Architectural Heritage Fund, and many other donations.
Since reopening last December, the cinema has been well received, bringing back old audiences and attracting new audiences across the age range. The extended opening hours makes the facility accessible to islanders on Gigha, as well as to residents of Campbeltown and across the Kintyre Peninsular. It has also been recognised by the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards as the Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place 2018.
Read the full announcement here.