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View from SW.

SC 657308

Description View from SW.

Date 22/5/1996

Collection RCAHMS

Catalogue Number SC 657308

Category On-line Digital Images

Copy of D 17562 CN

Scope and Content Former cinema, World War II Garrison Theatre, North Ness, Longhope, Hoy, Orkney Islands During both World Wars the influx of tens of thousands of military and civilian personnel into Orkney meant the creation or adaptation of buildings for residential and communal use on a massive scale. Purpose-built accommodation huts and service buildings were generally of the mass-produced and pre-fabricated types which prevailed elsewhere in wartime Britain, and military sites throughout Orkney had a greater or lesser complement of such structures, the greatest concentrations being around the naval base at Lyness on Hoy and the airfields on Mainland. As well as catering for religious worship, the major camps boasted cinemas, concert halls and gymnasia, and shore-based recreation facilities, particularly on Flotta and Hoy, were provided for those whose accommodation was on board ship. Forming part of the main Service Headquarters at North Ness, Longhope, the most stylish of these surviving wartime buildings designed for entertainment is the former Garrison Theatre which dates from 1942. This view shows the rear wall of the front block of the former Garrison Theatre, and, in the foreground, a sloping area of lawn which marks the site of the raked seating of the former cinema/concert hall. The curved outlines of the two Nissen huts which covered the dance hall (left) and the cinema (right) can still be made out in the cement rendered wall of the front block. The line of the division between the two areas (as well as the rake of the cinema seating) is marked by a low wall in the centre, and the viewpoint is roughly where the cinema screen and concert platform would have stood. A later extension obscures the cinema entrance and exit arrangements. At the heart of the Orkney archipelago, Scapa Flow was the main fleet anchorage for the Royal Navy during both World Wars. Its vital importance led to the creation of one of the most concentrated defence networks in Britain. Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.


File Format (TIF) Tagged Image File Format bitmap

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