The Lost Picture Shows

If you allow your eyes to drift along the lines of Edinburgh’s streets and closes you’ll begin to notice the variety of building styles that represent the years in which Edinburgh has been built, demolished and built again. The Old Town, Tollcross, Stockbridge, Leith and Portobello have all undergone huge amounts of change in the last 100 years. Old and new buildings exist next to each other in a lovely higgledy piggledy-ness.

A project made during lockdown 2020, The Lost Picture Shows, is a collection of these buildings that have previously been something else. Inspired by a book of a similar name written by Brendon Thomas in1984, the connecting thread is that they were all at one time a cinema. Some of the original buildings have been demolished completely; some are still there. Many can only be recognised by small remaining details in stone and many have been repurposed into bingo halls and churches.

I hope to provide an intimate view of these buildings rather than a documentary of their existence. Sometimes that is represented in the way sunlight falls on the stone or the reflections created from opposing windows. It’s the romantic in me which imagines the secrets these walls hold. The snails that could be bought as a treat at the ‘Ritz’ or the flea bites you might later discover if you saw a picture at the ‘Royal Mile’.

If only the walls could talk.

Image Caption

La Scala, Helen Jones 2022

Opening Event

7p.m. 5th August 2022

  • Venue

    The Cameo Cinema

  • Address

    38 Home St, Edinburgh EH3 9LZ, UK

  • Website