08 Dec

Albert Victor Gardner

Archive, Norman Mowatt, People of the Picture House


Image (zoom): architectural plans drawn by AV Gardner for Campbeltown Picture House Ltd. (1912), courtesy of Argyll & Bute Council

Albert Victor Gardner was born in England on the 22nd of December 1883. His family moved throughout England and Ireland. By the 1901 census they can be found in Glasgow.

Albert studied at Glasgow School of Art to become an architect. By the 1911 census, he is practising as an architect and as an employer. Over his career, Albert designed various types of building, including the development of the Westerton Garden Suburb which later became his home. Cinemas became one of his specialities. One of his clients was early cinema pioneer Frederick Rendell Burnette who became the managing director of the Picture House in Campbeltown. Albert’s cinema designs were occasionally flamboyant with castellations, towers, vertical strips of windows, finned brickwork, and glass. The Campbeltown Picture House is a good example of his work with art nouveau features and oval forms giving the building a recognisable ‘Glasgow’ look.

Albert married Helen Dawson Greenlees, daughter of the painter James Greenlees, at Burlington House, Glasgow on 9 June 1915. After World War One, Albert joined a series of architectural partnerships and continued designing cinemas and became a director of at least two cinemas in Glasgow. He was a shareholder in the Picture House in Campbeltown, holding 20 shares. He died in 1944 and was buried at Hillfoot Cemetery, Bearsden.


Norman Mowatt (July 2017)


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