Falkirk Council: More seats opened up at historic Bo'ness Hippodrome

Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema has been given permission to use ‘heritage seats’ for the first time since its major refurbishment in 2009.
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The Bo’ness Hippodrome, which originally opened in 1912, will now have a capacity of 220, an increase of 48 seats.

The increase will allow the cinema, which is owned and operated by Falkirk Council, to increase its capacity but there will be no change to the actual number of seats as they are already in place.

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The heritage seats, on either side of the seating in the balcony, were retained as original seating, complementing the new red velvet seats that were part of the restoration.

The interior of the historic Hippodrome cinemaThe interior of the historic Hippodrome cinema
The interior of the historic Hippodrome cinema

They were not used ordinarily for seating customers, being slightly to the side of centre, and narrower.

Members of Falkirk Council’s licensing board heard that the additional seating would help the venue make the most of its status as winner of Best Cinema Experience in Scotland at the 2019 Scottish Hospitality Awards.

It was also shortlisted for Cinema of the Year in the 2019 Screen Awards.

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The A-listed building was designed by local architect Matthew Steele.

The venue has become known for the annual Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema, known as Hippfest, which is held in March and commissions live music to accompany silent classics from around the world.

Throughout the year, the Hippodrome also screens the latest releases, classic films and autistic friendly viewings as well as regular special events.