Proprietor of The Hippodrome, Bo'ness, designed by the architect Matthew Steele, one of the earliest purpose-built cinemas in Scotland and now the oldest building still functioning as a cinema, Dickson was also maker of a number of local topicals, particularly those of the annual Bo'ness Children's Fair. A 'cinematographist' from at least 1906 when the telephone directory places him in Comely Bank, Edinburgh, he became official cinematographer of the Edinburgh World Exhibition in 1908. Though he became Vice-Chair of the Scottish Branch of the CEA, and was believed to have connections with the Poole family in Edinburgh and Galashiels, Dickson seems to have focused his attention on Bo'ness and did not develop a chain of cinemas. Reported to drive a Rolls-Royce around Bo'ness, and to have wittily named his house 'Hollywood' (though building records indicate it was named Hollywood when it was built in the late nineteenth century), The Bioscope report of his election to the Vice-Chairmanship of CEA notes that he is 'one of the pioneers of the cinema trade who would have been honoured long before now by his colleagues had it not been that with his modest and unassuming manner he always gave place to others when it was suggested to him'. He ran the Hippodrome for thirty-four years, till 1946 when it was taken over by Caledonia Associates. He then moved to Edinburgh and retained interests in cinema. He died in 1962 in Corstorphine at the age of 84.
Source: Scotland's New 'Vice', The Bioscope, 28.01.1926
Scottish Screen Archive biography (Eamonn Butler): http://movingimage.nls.uk/biography/10009
Linlithgowshire Journal and Gazette 30 March 1962