Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.
An added attraction for cinema-goers is now open at ABC1 in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow in the shape of a new bar for patrons of the cinema.
But it is not just an ordinary bar, this one is installed with circuit television monitors.
Engineer Jack Graham tells me, “this means that patrons can follow what is on the big screen and either finish their drinks and snacks at leisure or know just when to return to their seats.”
Those who are long in the cinematographic tooth will recall well that the ABC 1 used to be called the Regal. Well the new bar is sited on the top floor of what used to be the old Regal restaurant.
Mrs May Mackie, who is in charge of the bar, says that the new closed circuit screens make life a lot easier for herself and staff, other wise she would be answering questions about the programme all the time.
Manager Alan Dale tells me that as far as he knows the ABC complex is the first in Scotland to provide this facility. “One of the partners in the firm of contractors who built the bar, Jack Wallace, is just back from North America where he saw monitors of this type actually installed outside the cinema.” said Alan.
Which makes you wonder why people bother paying to get inside! There is nothing modern about the decor in the new room. It was designed by Mr Dale himself. The theme is an old stableyard surrounded by an inn, the bar counter, and the innkeeper’s house. Across a low central wall is the coachman’s house, with an enormous canopied fireplace.
“The old restaurant had enormous arched windows which we didn’t want to alter,” said Mr Dale, “so I decided this theme would be in keeping with them.” Much admired by patrons, I’m told, are the leaded-glass bow windows of the “innkeeper’s house” which looks on to interiors specially painted for the new bar by Mr Henry Hellier, head of the interior design department of Glasgow School of Art.
The bar sells “practically everything,” being a free house and opens from 6 p.m. to 9.30.