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

Granada Leisure.

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'



Free Church

in 1859.


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