SCT 50th Anniversary Lecture: Glasgow’s Cinema Experiment, Gordon Barr & Gary Painter

Wednesday 7th June 2017 | 7pm | 54 Bell Street

For here in Glasgow is every type of cinema – from the largest in Europe to the smallest and smelliest in the British Isles. And in Glasgow every kind of cinema experiment is being made…” – Film Weekly, 1931

Scotland has some of the most architecturally diverse cinema buildings of anywhere in the world. This double-act led talk will cover the full range of Glasgow’s cinema history, from converted roller-skating rinks, via the earliest purpose built halls, the peculiarly Scottish ‘back-court’ theatres, to the finest thirties art deco super-cinemas, stopping off to highlight some of the most interesting depictions of Glasgow on screen, both as itself and pretending to be other cities along the way.

The talk will cover cinemas that were, cinemas that are, and cinemas that might have been. Although many buildings have been demolished or converted, there are still a lot of interesting gems to discover if you know where to look.

Gary Painter and Gordon Barr have been recording and researching Scotland’s palaces of entertainment for over fifteen years –


In 2017 the Scottish Civic Trust is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Since 1967 the Trust has been at the forefront of celebrating and protecting Scotland’s historic environment, promoting good modern architecture, and engaging with local communities and the general public through a wide range of activities.

We are delighted to be partnering with the Scottish Civic Trust in its semicentennial year on a short series of events with a focus on Glasgow’s heritage, built, cultural and intangible.