08 Dec

James Macalister Hall

Archive, People of the Picture House

James Macalister Hall was an original shareholder, buying 100 shares in 1912.

James was one of six children, two sisters born in New Zealand, and he and his brothers were born at Degnish, Argyll where the family farm was.

James was the Grandson of William Hall and Grace Macalister, Grocers on Quay St, Campbeltown.

His Uncle was James Macalister Hall senior, the man that Hall Street in Campbeltown was named after. James senior went to India around 1849 and established the firm Mackenzie hall & Co with his school friend, William Mackenzie. The firm conducted a trade in goods between India and Britain. In 1893, James Macalister Hall senior became Chairman of the British Steam Navigation Co.

James senior becomes a very wealthy man and sometime around 1868, he buys Eagle Cottage in Campbeltown and in 1875 buys the Estates of Killean and Tangy. He provides the funding for the Library in Hall Street, Campbeltown to be built (known as the Burnett Building). In 1899, James Macalister Hall senior was awarded the Freedom of the town, only the third person to do so.

When he died in 1904, the Killean Estate was held in trust to his brother Stuart and Nephew James Macalister Hall junior, an original shareholder of the Picture House.
In 1904, James Macalister Hall junior inherited a ranch in Queensland valued at £2000.
James Macalister Hall junior inherited the Killean Estate in 1912 on the death of his Uncle, Stuart Macalister hall.
Can you spot the inscription above the main entrance?
Biography File: People of the Picture House
Full NameJames Macalister Hall (Sometimes known as Hamish Macalister Hall)
Maiden name / other names
Birth date1873Birth place: Kilbrandon, Argyll
Death dateAugust 1st 1922Death place: Kilmory, Argyll
Father’s full name
  • Allan McAlester Hall, born 1843, Campbeltown
  • married 1867, New Zealand
Mother’s full name
(maiden name in brackets)
  • Janet/Jessie  (McNab) born: unknown
  • Married 1867, New Zealand
  • Enid Morgan Phillips, born 1884 Hitchin, Herefordshire.(Botanist)
  • Married 1912, Kensington, London
  • Died 1940, Kintyre
Places of residence
  • 1881: Degnish House, Kilbrandon, Argyll
  • Sometime after 1881:Queensland,Australia (see obit)
  • Sometime after 1904: Killean House, Killean Estate (see obit)
  • 1911: Killean House, Killean Estate
Occupation history
  • Before 1904: Farmer/ Breeder of Blackface sheep and Highland cattle
  • After 1904: Owner of Killean Estate
  • After 1904: Argyllshire County Council Member
  • 1914: Killean House, Killean Estate
Relationship with Picture House / Rex CinemaJames Macalister Hall was an original shareholder, buying 100 shares in 1912.
External source references (e.g. census, BMD, valuation rolls, probate index, wills, parish records etc.) include ref. numbers


  • Statutory Register Births: 507/70/228
  • Statutory Registers: Births 515/2
  • National Probate Calendar
  • Old Parish Registers: 507/70/228
  • New Zealand Civil Records Index 1867/6946
  • Civil Registration Marriage Index 1912
  • Uk Census Collection
  • 1911 Scottish Census: 519/2/4
  • P&O Heritage
  • Obituaries from: Dundee Evening Telegraph, Edinburgh Evening News, Aberdeen Press and Journal, London Morning Post.
CPH archive or object collection referenceOriginal Shareholders Ledger
Other notes
  • James Macalister Hall’s uncle Peter Macalister Hall bought Torrisdale Castle.
  • His Father Allan Macalister Hall inherited the Tangy Estate, which later passed to Allan’s sister, Grace Macalister Hall, whose signature is on the old plan showing the Picture House plot of land.
  • His Brother in Law was Admiral Harry Seawell Frank Niblett.
Image 1: used with permission, RCHAMS (https://canmore.org.uk/collection/1025881)

Fredrick Rendell Burn… December 8, 2017 James Durward Lyall December 10, 2017