Glencairn Properties is to submit plans to turn a former iconic Art Deco cinema in Edinburgh into a residential development of around 37 apartments.

The State Cinema in Leith closed in 1972 and has since been used as a bingo hall, a nightclub and church.

Having acquired the derelict B-listed building, Glencairn Properties said its ISA Architects-designed scheme will help reinvigorate Great Junction Street.

Daryl Teague, director of Glencairn Properties, said acquiring the building had been a complex process involving a number of legal and ownership issues. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

He added: “There is very little of the original interior left, but we intend to reopen the old foyer as an entrance to the accommodation. Our planning application is being submitted this autumn and we look forward to taking the plans forward.”

The cinema was originally designed by architect Sir James Miller and opened in December 1938, part of a multi-use leisure development that incorporated shops, two billiard halls, and a skittle alley.

The sweeping curved entrance had a tower feature on the left hand side, topped by a pagoda roof.

In 1995 it was B-listed by Historic Scotland, although nothing of the original features remain.

In 2002 it was turned into the Babylon nightclub, which closed two years later. It continues to have a number of uses, including the Kingdom Church.

In February 2005 plans were proposed by Glasgow-based developer Walter Barratt to demolish the auditorium and retain the facade and foyer as an entrance to a new block of flats on the site. There was also a plan for a restaurant along the Water of Leith side of the building.

Should the plans meet with the approval of the City of Edinburgh Council work could get underway in 2018.

Source: Scottish Construction Now

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