Glasgow Film Theatre

12 Rose Street,
Glasgow, G3 6RB

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Glasgow Film Theatre

The Cosmo Cinema opened on 18th May 1939 with Raimu and Fernandel in "Un Carnet de Bal"(Dance Ticket). It was the largest and the only purpose built art house cinema in Britain outside London’s West End. It was built for George Singleton who operated the Singleton circuit of cinemas in Scotland and was the last cinema to be built in central Glasgow before the the beginning of World War II.

Designed in a splendid mix of Art Deco and Art Moderne styles by architect James McKissack, the Cosmo Cinema was his final cinema design. Seating was provided for 850 in stalls and circle levels. Programming was based on the famous Acamemy Cinema, Oxford Street, London which was always considered the UK’s top art house cinema.

In 1974 the Cosmo was purchased by the Scottish Film Council and the auditorium was sub-divided to provide a 404 seat cinema in the former circle and a conference facility in the former stalls area. This opened on 2nd May 1974 as the Glasgow Film Theatre with Frederico Fellini’s "Roma".

In 1988, the conference room was converted into a 144 seat cinema and a cafe known as the Cosmo Cafe was added. The former circle cinema now seats 394. At the end of November 2013 a 3rd 60-seat screen was added in what had previously been the Cosmo Cafe.

On 21st July 1988, Historic Scotland designated the Cosmo Cinema a Grade B Listed building.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ian on February 1, 2008 at 11:08 am

A 1993 photo of the GFT here:–

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Ian on June 10, 2011 at 5:36 am

This is a very successful, beautifully maintained (following a recent restoration) art-house cinema which is hugely popular in the city. The staff are friendly, the two cinemas stylish and comfortable, with bars and cafe on-site. A little bit of cinema-heaven and well worth a visit if you are in Glasgow.

Ian on June 13, 2011 at 12:47 am

More photos of the Glasgow Film Theatre taken in June 2011:–






garypainter on September 20, 2019 at 10:02 am

A third screen opened at the end of November 2013, replacing what was Cafe Cosmo. This small 60-seat auditorium is contemporary in style but nicely complements the building’s original 1930s aesthetic with its use of dark wood and black leather. A few years after Screen 3 opened, the public areas were also revamped, with the restoration of the twin stair from the foyer (one side had previously been lost to alterations to insert a mezzanine bar into the double height foyer in the late 60s). A small new serving counter was also built to partially replace the lost Cafe, as well as improvements to the mezzanine bar, toilets and education/office spaces.

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