GLASGOW’S theatreland is in rude health with a series of rennovations and expansions at its leading venues.
The city centre Theatre Royal has benefited from a recent £11 million makeover and ambitious plans are being drawn up to breathe new life into the much-loved Citizens in the Gorbals.
The King’s at Charing Cross still attracts the biggest touring shows from London’s West End while the national home of Scottish variety, the Pavilion, continues to delight audiences from across the country.
Glasgow once boasted several other major theatres, the most famous of which, the Empire, was known as ‘the graveyard of comics’.
Situated on Sauchiehall Street, where the present day Empire House office block stands, it was notorious for its unforgiving audiences.
Veteran Scots entertainer Johnny Beattie summed up their attitude as: “If they liked you, they let you live.”
The venue was torn down in 1963 after 66 years in business.
A short-distance away, at the corner of Waterloo Street and Wellington Street, stood the vast Alhambra Theatre. With a revolving stage and a capacity of 2,800 it was at one time considered the best venue in the city.
It closed its doors in 1969 following a Cilla Black performance and was demolished two years later.