Stirling Arcade

One of only five 19th century shopping arcades in Scotland, built for William Crawford, a china merchant and Stirling councillor.

The Crawford Arcade was constructed between 1879 and 1882, connecting the streets of Murray Place and King Street. Designed by John Mclean, it was the idea of enterprising businessman William Crawford, a local china merchant. The unique development comprised 2 hotels, 39 shops, a 1200-seat theatre, and 6 dwellings and cost £30,000 to construct. The Stirling Arcade is one of just five 19th century shopping arcades in Scotland.

The use of the Arcade Theatre has changed many times since it first opened in the 1880s. In 1912 it was purchased by Henry Crawford and renamed the Alhambra Music Hall. In 1931, it was converted to a cinema, following the boom in cinema construction during the interwar period. However, its life as a cinema was short-lived, closing in 1939, and the space was left empty until it was re-purposed by Menzies Department Store in the 1960s. With the closure some years later of Menzies, the large but much altered space became vacant once again.

The Alhambra Theatre forms part of the Historic Environment Scotland funded Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme for Stirling and it is hoped a new use for this historically important building will be found when it is fully repaired.


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