Aug 23 2012 by Clare Damodaran, Blairgowrie Adv
THE curtains fell for one last time on a Blairgowrie institution last week as the Quinn’s Picture House building in Reform Street was demolished.
Residents of the town gathered throughout the day to watch the heavy machinery pull the building down, reminiscing about old Blair and swapping stories.
One person who watched the last moments of Quinn’s was former projectionist at the old cinema, Gordon Philips, who can remember the days when the queues for the big blockbuster films of the day would stretch back around the corner into Leslie Street. Gordon went home with a memento of Quinn’s last day, taking a brick salvaged from the rubble of the old building.
A Facebook page dedicated to the picture house also saw people posting their memories online. James Cockburn said: “They may have demolished the old Quinn’s Picture House but the memories will last for ever. Those wonderful Saturday afternoon movies.” And Catherine Sutherland posted: “Another old cinema bites the dust. So sad. Fond memories of going to Quinn’s when in Blair on holiday as a youngster.”
The Quinn’s cinema opened in Reform Street in 1925, and at that time the building was reported to be “very much ahead of its time with every comfort and convenience for picture-goers and a balcony seating one hundred and twenty-eight”.
The family-run cinema closed in 1983 and the building has fallen into gradual disrepair since then.
Councillor Caroline Shiers said: “The demolition of the former Quinn’s cinema is long overdue. It is sad to see that old building go but the land has been freed up for much needed affordable housing. Having been involved in the discussions on the future of the site several years ago the architects will hopefully be able to incorporate some of the art deco elements of the old building into the design of the new premises. It should be a vast improvement to what is a major road in the town.”
A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council said: “The demolition of the former Quinn’s cinema has always been planned in order to allow the construction 17 new affordable homes on the site.
“Contractors Campion Homes Ltd began work on site last week with the properties anticipated for completion towards the end of 2013.”