An amended plan to transform an iconic former art deco cinema in Leith into homes has been backed by planners.

The Glencairn Properties plan for 37 apartments at the Great Junction Street will keep the distinctive foyer and frontage.

There will be a new-build extension at the back of the property overlooking the Water of Leith.

The building, which closed as a cinema in 1972, has B-listed status.

The State Cinema, which was opened in 1938 and later became home for a number of different uses including as a church and a bingo hall.

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The last screening there was in the summer of 2017 as part of the Hidden Door festival.


In a statement, Glencairn Properties said: "Further to full access of the building and structural investigations being carried out it has become clear that it would be impossible to demolish the existing stair without compromising the structure of the external elevation of the retained foyer building at the corner facing Mill Lane.

"In the interest of retaining this section of elevation we have proposed to reuse the existing stair and make compliant for residential use."

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It said: "We propose the existing linear window at the stair well, currently boarded up, is reinstated to allow light and ventilation to the stair."


It adds: "The primary living spaces will predominantly address the Water of Leith.

"Long, ribbon balconies will catch the afternoon and evening sun with views across the water, Coalie Park and towards to The Shore."


"The long, curving, horizontal balconies tie in with the ‘Streamline Moderne’ aesthetic and values.

"A series of profiled perforated panels screen the balconies, break up the massing and provide depth and subtle changes of light to the facade."


Consultation was held which included a meeting with Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council.

Glencairn's amended plan that keeps the internal stairway in order to save the foyer was approved on Thursday.