Recollections  -  Entertainment

La Scala Cinema

Nicolson Street, Edinburgh

The La Scala cinema at 50 Nicolson Street opened as La Scala Electric Theatre in 1912, refurbished from an existing theatre on the site from 1862.  The cinema is now in use for bingo.

Thank you to Eric Gold, known to many as Eric McKenzie, formerly of Dumbiedykes, for the following recollections.

Eric wrote:

Lascala Cinema

"The La Scala was a great place to watch a film and I went there with my family every week. 

On one side, just before you went in to the cinema you would have photos of the great movie stars.

When the Lascala closed to be a bingo hall the portraits were sold to a well known bookmaker, Kenny Waugh, who lived in Gilmerton, although my family knew him as he too was brought up in East Arthur place.

Kenny is at the moment building a nightclub in the Potterow area of  Edinburgh

Eric Gold, East London:  February 21, 2005


Thank you to George Smith for these memories of La Scala:

Lascala Cinema

"My recollection of the La Scala is of weekly visits with my  parents on Tuesday evenings where we always sat third row from the  front of the balcony on the left hand side.

I have no idea how this 'reservation' worked but I can not remember it failing.

These visits  were from 1934 to 1938 when we moved districts.

Much as I enjoyed the Scala I was snob enough to appreciate the carpeted splendour of the New Victoria where I first heard Gilbert&Sullivan sung and played in a film version of "The Mikado".

 Those were the days of two 'continuous' programmes per week , Monday to Wednesday and Thursday to Saturday with children's matinee on Saturday complete with audience participation."

George T Smith, British Columbia, Canada:  February 22, 2006


Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who wrote:


"It was interesting to hear, Eric Gold talking about the many hours he spent in the La Scala cinema in Nicolson Street.

My childhood recollections are littered with memories of going to the pictures all over Edinburgh all over Edinburgh, not very often to the La Scala I must say, nor did we risk the Rio (County) at Craigmillar.

My ‘home turf’ picture house was the New Vic (Victoria) in South Clerk Street, which became the Odeon, now closed for sale and redevelopment."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland,  April 9, 2006



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