A 'Palace' Timeline
Three different buildings occupied the James Street site between 1846 & 1992, but from 1890 to the demolition of the third building in 1992, entertainment was the common thread, offering theatre, cinema, roller skating & the crowning cultural pinnacle - Bingo !
Here are a few milestones - oh, aye, ah ken, there's muckle missin'.....
1846 Inverbrothock Free Church is built.
1887 The church is badly damaged by fire.
1889 The church is abandoned by the congregation. They will be housed in a new church at Hopemount.
1890 (Jan 24) 'Seven Gables', as the old church was known, is re-opened as the 'New Victoria Hall'.
1901 (Sep 2) The 'New Victoria Hall' becomes the 'Arbroath Theatre'.
1903 By now the venue is known as the 'New Theatre'.
? - 1909 It carries the name 'Saint James Theatre'.
1909 - 1910 It is now the 'Arbroath Picture Hall'.
1910 - 1913 Purchased by George Joss Melvin (who dies in 1911) it is run as a bar until funds allow it to
be re-opened as 'Melvin's Picture Palace'. The family performs as an entertainment troupe under the
name of 'Melvin's Merry Mascots'. George Joss's son is G. S. Melvin, pantomime dame & comedian, whose
daughter is Ruby Melvin (1909-1985) early stage name'Little Rube', a singer, actress & employee of the
Herald Press. See pages '1967 & 2000'.
1913 Now named simply 'The Palace'.
1914 The building is demolished.
1914 (Nov 9) Built on the site of 'The Palace', 'The New Palace' opens.
1916 JB Milne take ownership.
1917 Absorbed into SCVT.
1939 'The New Palace' closes & is demolished.
1940 (May) 'The Palace Cinema' is rebuilt, the design by architect W. R. Glen
& opens as 'The New Palace Theatre'.
1961 (Jun 7) Bingo sessions are introduced under the name 'Palais Bingo'.
1961 (Nov) Rocker Gene Vincent performs at the 'Palais de Danse'.
1963 (Oct) 'The Palace Cinema' is sold to JB Milne.
1969 (Aug 1) 'The Palace' (together with 'The Picture House') are offered for
sale by J.B. Milne Theatres Ltd.
'early 1970s' 'The Palace' is sold to Kingsway Ent's.
1984 The Palace ceases being a cinema & becomes a full time bingo hall.
1985 (late) Border Movies Ltd become the new owners & reintroduce films on
the balcony level only.
1988 The stalls area becomes a roller skating rink.
1990 'Palais Bingo' closes. Hillcrest Housing Assoc. buy the building from
1992 (Dec) The building is demolished. A housing development will replace one
hundred & two years of James Street entertainment ( and a place of Christian
worship during the preceding forty four years ).
James Street in 1901 : this year the 'New Victoria Hall' becomes the 'Arbroath Theatre'
Badly damaged by fire in 1887, by 1890
it will be the
'New Victoria Hall'
The Palace around 1985 Image courtesy www.scottishcinemas.org.uk (Paul Francis)
1846 - 1992