Scottish Cinema 📽️ | British Newspaper Archive


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we’re celebrating the history of cinema with the arrival of a brand new title, Glasgow’s Scottish Cinema, alongside 96,538 brand new pages. Meanwhile, from Ballymena to Bolton, from Belfast to Brighton, from Derry to Downham Market, we’ve updated 22 of our existing titles from across the United Kingdom, Ireland and beyond.

So read on to discover more about all of our new and updated titles of the week, and also to learn about the marriage of Hollywood’s first super couple, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, and their honeymoon trip to Britain in 1920, as told through the pages of the Scottish Cinema.

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We’re delighted to welcome ‘The Journal of the Scottish Cinematograph Industry,’ the Scottish Cinema, to our collection of special cinema trade publications, which include The Bioscope and the Kinematograph Weekly. The Scottish Cinema was a weekly cinema trade journal that first appeared on 22 September 1919, in response to the need for a journal devoted to the Scottish cinema trade.

The Scottish Cinema‘s inaugural editorial begun by addressing the delay in the publication’s debut, citing how ‘it was deemed imprudent to make our appearance until the War was over and Peace ultimately assured.’ Appearing nearly one year after the Armistice, the editorial went on to explain the new title’s ‘aims and objects,’ stating how:

…the time is ripe for the establishment of a weekly journal devoted entirely to the cinema trade in Scotland. No one can find fault with the admirably conducted Scottish sections of the three trade journals published in London, but in the limited space at their disposal it is quite impossible, in our opinion, to deal adequately with the affairs of the ever-growing trade in Scotland. It is no longer a section that Scotland needs, but a journal of its own.

The editorial then went on to address the type of content that would be featured within the pages of the new publication:

It is our intention to interest every branch of the industry — renters, exhibitors, managers, travellers and staffs — and to keep them in touch with all the latest developments of the trade. Various questions of vital importance are likely to crop up in the near future. These we will deal with frankly and fearlessly, but always with a view to the welfare and guidance of the trade as a whole. Then, in addition to other features, which speak for themselves, we have arranged for special reports of the monthly meetings of the Scottish Branch of the C.E.A., as well as the Renters’ Association.

The Scottish Cinema would be published every Monday at the cost of three pence, its length varying between 40 and 60 pages. ‘Read by Every Renter and Exhibitor in Scotland,’ it published district news from the likes of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Greenock and Paisley, as well as featuring both an American and a London letter. The Scottish Cinema also contained special features with titles like ‘Music and the Cinema,’ and ‘School and Cinema,’ as will as printing photographs and profiles of ‘Cinema Trade Celebrities.’

The Scottish Cinema was indeed the go-to publication for Scottish cinema needs, as it published a list of Scottish trade shows, and a Glasgow Renters’ Directory. Meanwhile, ‘Big Fellow’ in his column ‘Cinema Sidelights’ provided his thoughts on ‘current topics,’ whilst the title was awash with cinematic advertisements, which promoted such things as projectors and cinema seating.

However, by the August of 1920 the Scottish Cinema was in need of a rest, an ‘important notice’ explaining how:

On account of the holiday season, combined with the ever-increasing cost of paper and printing, we have decided to suspend publication for a few weeks after which we hope to resume our weekly appearance with renewed energy.

Sadly, we could not find any evidence of the Scottish Cinema’s return to the world of publishing. Although short-lived, the Scottish Cinema is a remarkable repository of information around early cinema in Scotland, and is a wonderful addition to The Archive’s collection of cinema titles.

That may be it from the Scottish Cinema, but we have some fantastic updates to our existing titles for you this week. We’ve added new pages to fellow Scottish title the Aberdeen Free Press, whilst our largest updates of the week are to two of our Northern Irish newspapers, the Belfast News-Letter and the Ballymena Observer, to which we have added over 33,000 brand new pages and 28,000 brand new pages respectively.

Meanwhile, we’ve also made updates to two of our other titles from Northern Ireland, the Derry Journal and the Londonderry Standard, whilst new pages have joined the Republic of Ireland’s Wicklow News-Letter and County Advertiser. This week also sees updates to the Channel Islands’ Guernsey Evening Press and Star, whilst further afield, we see updates to one of our international titles, the Uganda Herald.

Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks – Hollywood’s Super Couple Come to Britain

On 28 March 1920 ‘America’s Sweetheart’ Mary Pickford and ‘Everybody’s Hero’ Douglas Fairbanks delighted the world with their marriage. The union between the two actors made them Hollywood’s first super couple, and on 12 April 1920 our new cinema industry title the Scottish Cinema reacted to the news:

NOW that Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks have made their second bid for happiness, I add my congratulations, and hope that the combination of youth, beauty, and skill will be a truly happy and fruitful one.

The couple would go on to further delight British audiences, however, when they left the United States on 12 June 1920 for their honeymoon, arriving in Southampton at the end of June. The Scottish Cinema on 5 July 1920 described the ‘quick work‘ that had gone into filming the famous couple:

Mr. R. Booth, of the Gaumont Co., tells me that the arrival of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks at Southampton last Monday was included in a short supplementary length to the graphic, and was delivered on Tuesday morning to first-run customers. A similar claim is made on behalf of the Pathe Pictorial.

The arrival of Hollywood’s golden couple caused a stir in Britain. The Scottish Cinema described how ‘many columns’ had been written about the newlyweds, even including a tally, which was topped by the Daily Chronicle, of the amount of columns the national newspapers had devoted to them.

The writer for the Scottish Cinema was, however, most in sympathy with the remarks of the Manchester Guardian (later known as The Guardian). The Guardian’s article was reprinted under the heading ‘Poor Little Mary:’

It is certainly hard lines on Miss Mary Pickford and Mr. Douglas Fairbanks, who have come to spend a quiet honeymoon in London away from the turmoil and publicity of Los Angeles. Choosing a spot where no one had expected to see them they settled on a quiet hostelry in Piccadilly known as the Ritz Hotel. There, hidden on the balcony, they were perceived by the crowd, and although Mr. Fairbanks, to escape observation, straddled the balustrade and hung over the street, people still observed him. It must have been very disconcerting to the American celebrities.

In scenes that are far from alien to our celebrity obsessed world today, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were mobbed by photographers and crowds of curious onlookers. The Scottish Cinema provides some astute commentary on the celebrity phenomenon, noting how on 19 July 1920 their visit ‘seems to have got on the nerves of some of the scribes of the lay press.’

Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks eventually left the UK to travel on to mainland Europe, visiting France, Switzerland and Germany. Find out more about their honeymoon trip, early cinema, and much more besides, in the pages of our newspapers today.

New Titles
TitleYears Added
Scottish Cinema1919-1920
Updated Titles

This week we have updated 22 of our existing titles.

You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.

TitleYears Added
Aberdeen Free Press1881
Ballymena Observer1959-1984
Belfast News-Letter1987, 1990, 1992
Bolton Journal & Guardian1910
Brighton Argus1899
Chard and Ilminster News1912
Derry Journal1981, 1988, 1993-1994
Downham Market Gazette1912
Evening Star1910, 1912
Evesham Journal1873
Guernsey Evening Press and Star1899, 1910
Kent Messenger & Gravesend Telegraph1900
Londonderry Standard1853
Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser1911
Man of Ross and General Advertiser1872
Manchester City News1937
North Middlesex Chronicle1876
Northern Daily Telegraph1911-1912
Northwich Guardian1897
Southern Weekly News1900
Uganda Herald1936
Wicklow News-Letter and County Advertiser1914

You can keep up to date with all the latest additions by visiting the recently added page.  You can even look ahead to see what we’re going to add tomorrow.


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