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Old Cambuslang

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Empire Cinema, Cambuslang

Hi Folks,

Just thought I'd let you know that I was recently sent some photos of this old cinema, which used to stand next to the Terminus until it was demolished around 1986. The pics date from only a few years before this, so the inside of the place is in a shocking condition, but the photos are quite atmospheric!

You can find them on my website of old cinemas here:

If anyone has any other material relating to Cambuslang's old cinemas, then please let me know - I'd be especially keen to know the year the Empire opened, and the year that the Savoy closed as a cinema.


Your location Halfway

Re: Empire Cinema, Cambuslang

Gary... Maybe I can help you a wee bit with the history of the Empire. When I was a wee boy my parents along with my brother, attended the opening night of the Empire. There was a stage show, put on special for the opening, and during the show an act of juggling with lit candles remains in my memory. The juggler nearly dropped the candles, and I clearly remember my father saying to an usher that the theater was nearly "gone again".
I can only guess that would be 1931/2. But to get to my point, there would seem to be another opening date for the Empire which precedes the opening that I attended. I guess that one doesn't count.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all.


Your location Ontario, Canada

Re: Empire Cinema, Cambuslang

Just a short reminder of the cinema mentioned, I have to get it right, it was not the Savoy or the Ritz so it must have been the Empire. There was a large tenement directly opposite and then there was the patch of ground where the ‘shows’ had their annual carry on if I have got it right. The guy who referred it to being “in a shocking condition” was being quite gentle in its description, in my time in Cambuslang it was called, and quite seriously “The Flea Pit” I can distinctly remember that when one came out after our two hours of scratching on exiting there was the inevitable itching, but I honestly never found any creepy crawlies on me at all, I suspect it was the bacterium that got rid of them?

I’m rambling again; so, Can you remember the back door at all? The little dirt track that ran alongside the side of the building and down eventually to the Clyde if my memory serves me correctly. Anyway if there was three or possibly four of five of us wanting to see the ‘Picture so just one of us would buy a ticket, after the lights went out and the film started the guy with the ticket would suddenly need to go to the toilet, on exiting said convenience he or she (Girls got away with this one easily) would open the fire exit door that was right next to the W C s and let the other miscreants enter, I am so surprised that we got away with that one for so long. I was going to return there a few months back and repay them for our misdeeds, but I hear that it has fallen down. Probably the weight of all the fleas trapped inside for so long?

Your location Goa India

Re: Empire Cinema, Cambuslang

I can remember the empire well we got one shilling, nine pence to get in and three pence for a ice block the door man at that time was big frank hillhouse
he would throw you out at the drop of hat . and I do remember the back door caper been there done that . cheers tom mc sorley

Your location australia