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Demolished Glasgow Cinemas

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 6:39 pm
by gap74
Hi Folks,

Just a wee plug for Nodrog and I's website, which this very day has been updated to include a rather nice batch of colour archive shots of demolished Glasgow cinemas, mostly dating from around 1980. As well as being good records of the cinemas themselves, the background of sooty tenements and 70s automobiles is often just as entertaining, I find!

Highlights include the Regal in Renfield St, The Astoria in Possil, The Metropole in St George's X, the Partick Picture House and many, many others!

Look out soon for shots from the same source of cinemas that still exist, taken around about 1980 also. ... demolished


PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:37 pm
by McShad
Just for the record... you said the Astoria was demolished in 1995... it was torched first, then had to be demolished

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:08 pm
by gap74
In one of the cinema circuit histories (that for the Gaumont circuit, I think), the author notes as an aside at one point that there is thesis just waiting to be written on the disproportionate number of Scottish cinemas lost to fire!

Same could be said of the country's theatres too, I guess!


PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:35 pm
by HollowHorn
gap74 wrote:the disproportionate number of Scottish cinemas lost to fire! Same could be said of the country's theatres too, I guess!

And many other buildings of historical importance in Glasgow

PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2005 7:04 pm
by Schiehallion
Excellent site guys. I'll need to run through it with my parents who have an amazing memory of these cinemas, particularly in the south of the city. If you need any info on any of them in the centre or south let me know. My dad was going into these places in the 1920's!

Meanwhile, I see the site covers theatres too, you ever come across anything on the Glasgow Hippodrome as featured on this Gallowgate gable at the turn of the century?


PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2005 10:51 pm
by gap74
Interesting question!

Without any further information, this could be one of two structures. It could either be:

1) E.H Bostock's Scottish Zoo and Hippodrome, opened in May 1897 and featuring a circus arena and cinema, or

2) Arthur Hubner's Hippodrome of the same year, housed in a conversion of a building which opened as a diorama in 1882, and was converted to ice-skating in 1885.

The former building soldiered on until 1918, with the cinema section having only been made permanent in 1911. This part of the building was known as the Zoo Electric Theatre, then the Joytown Grand Electric at various points in between! If only modern cinemas had such splendid names! The whole of Bostock's building still survives in the Cowcaddens area of the city, and currently hosts a Chinese supermarket and restaurant, a snooker club and an outdoorsy sport-type retailer. See: ... ooEPP.html

The latter building was taken over from Arthur Hubner by a Mr Hengler in 1904, Hengler having already run a famous circus in Wellington St until the lease expired in 1900. The building was very well appointed, and the main circular ring in front of the stage could be flooded with 100,000 gallons of water for spectacular water shows. It is also contentiously rumoured that this structure played host to Glasgow's first film screening, and films were presented reguarly, eventually becoming the main entertainment presented in the building under Hengler. The final circus season was in 1924. After as short period as a dance hall, the whole building was rebuilt in 1929 to become the Regal Cinema, later the ABC Sauchiehall St. ... regal.html

Interestingly, animal pens were still said to exist under the cinema at least until the conversion to bars and clubs recently, and the Scott St elevation of the building still has some ornate arched brickwork from the days as the Hippodrome: ... regal.html

I've a drawing of the interior of the auditorium as the Hippodrome/Hengler's Circus, and an etching of the exterior from that same time which I'll scan later.


old cinemas

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 12:40 am
by hazy
Does anybody remember the Tivoli in Crow road. It was at the bottom. Loved that place on a saturday morning they had a club in it and at the interval go-go dancers used to come on.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 1:02 am
by gap74
Ah, we have the Tivoli right here, couple of exterior pics from 80s and 90s and a 1930 programme. ... ivoli.html



PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 3:14 am
by wee mo
Does anyone remember the name of the cinema in Paisley Road West near the end of Mosspark Boulevard?
I remember in the late 60s, ma maw was taking us to the Lyceum in Govan to see Carry On Cowboy and this cinema in Paisley Road was showin' "Poor Cow", (I have since been told Poor Cow was an X certificate movie)... but I remember at the time, standin ootside greetin'... begging to go and see a film which I thought was all about a poor bovine creature who had lost it's mother in a field. Oh tae be young and innocent again ;o)

Oh and by the way... if you're bored you can read ma blog at .... sorry for the blatant advertising... but its yon time on a Saturday night... hic!

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:04 am
by brenmacneil
hi Gary (and Nodrog, if U R there)

"and the Scott St elevation of the building still has some ornate arched brickwork"

that last link to the ABC pics, I always figured that that arch must have been something like a Stage Door...

I knew the final curtian was due to fall on the Odeon, sadly I didnt know which night and didnt make it along to pay my respects

you guys must get in touch with me sometime so i can share some info of the ABC (as we discussed previously, Nodrog)

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:05 pm
by gap74
Just a wee note folks to say that our Nodrog has been working his little socks off, and thanks to a recent donation of archive slides, we have now added further galleries of cinemas being demolished.

There's the Victory in Whiteinch, a fantastic looking, fairly early cinema (1913), whose demolition in the early 80s was surely a crime!

Then the BB Cinerama/Odeon in Eglinton Toll

And finally, the piece de resistance, a fairly comprehensive demolition gallery of Green's Playhouse/Apollo, which not only show the cinema in good detail, but also some attached old shop fronts and the gap sites that were to become the adjacent Concert Hall and the Holiday Inn. Oh, and some buses too!


PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:35 am
by Dexter St. Clair
gap74 wrote:There's the Victory in Whiteinch, a fantastic looking, fairly early cinema (1913), whose demolition in the early 80s was surely a crime!


Perhaps it was as it was the victim of a fire. It was being used as a carpet warehouse. For some time after the demolition we were treated to a view of hidden whiteinch including the Stella Maris sailor's canteen. Then they replaced the cinma with the current carpet warehouse shed.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:01 pm
by Fat Cat
What a great site. The info on the old cinemas is great.

I live near the "Vogue" bingo, Carntyne (it'll always be known as that) and it a really nice building. Been inside a couple of times. That basement is a treasure trove. If it's not listed, it should be to prevent it being torn to bits by property developers.

Also, I didn't realise there had been a cinema on Alexandra Parade. I lived directly across the road for a while and had no idea.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:48 pm
by marginalwalker
Such a fabulous and informative site that :) Keep up the great work!

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 8:46 pm
by Simba
Where was the one at Eglinton Toll? I see there was a bus stop beside's not the one beside the Star Bar is it? (Btw the url for it is wrong, it should be .html). :)

Edit: I see it's on Victoria Road. Another pic here (pre demolition).