Banknock Picture Palace

The Ingram Brothers, showmen from the west of Scotland, took to showing films on their travels.  Around 1912 they had a tent at Hollandbush near Banknock and in 1913 decided to make it a more permanent fixture.  In August that year the foundations were laid for a wooden picture palace on the south side of the main Kilsyth road (A803).  A large stage was fitted with curtains for variety shows.  It was opened on Thursday 16 October by Matthew Brown of Glenbo with a free showing to the adult inhabitants of the area, followed on the Saturday by a similar event for children.

During the First World War the Ingram Brothers held several free entertainments for the wives and children of the local men who were in the armed forces, which was much appreciated in the community.  It was viewed as a community hall and in March 1918 was the venue for a presentation from the local populace to Private James Kirk of the Scottish Rifles in recognition of his having gained the Military Medal.

As it was situated in a small rural community the Banknock Picture Palace was only open on the Saturday and Monday evenings, when it was busy throughout the 1920s.  Dances were often held in the cinema on Saturday nights.  On 7 February 1925, for example, the Dempsey Band supplied the music.  The manager also acted as the doorkeeper or bouncer on such occasions to keep the drunks out.  It disappears from the records in the late 1920s.

Banknock Picture Palace         SMR 2217                   NS 7816 7927

G.B. Bailey, 2021