The Pavilion Theatre is one of Glasgow’s oldest theatres. Located at the top of Renfield Street in the northern side of the city, the theatre is easily reached by bus or subway. The Pavilion Theatre was opened on 29 February 1904 as a music hall and, at the time, it was considered to be state-of-the-art. The building was designed by Bertie Crewe at the request of Thomas Barrasford and the result was a theatre hall lavishly decorated with 18th century décor and architectural flourishes that gave it special appeal. At the same time the building had all the modern conveniences it could have possibly needed such as an electrically operated sliding roof for good ventilation.
When it first opened, shows held here generally took the form of melodramas, pantomimes and variety performances. It saw the likes of such legendary artists as Marie Lloyd, Harry Gordon, Will Fyffe, Little Tich and even Charlie Chaplin – though he was little known at the time. Today the building itself has seen relatively little change and it is this grandness which makes it so appealing. However, the sound and lighting systems have been updated to ensure that performances are of the best standard possible. Upon entering the building you will immediately get a sense of tradition and creativity. Though the Pavilion Theater in Glasgow is the only privately run theatre left in Scotland, it’s performances certainly do not suffer as a result. The lack of government subsidization is more than made up for by the good attendances it enjoys and it is always a favorite choice amongst actors living in the area.
Today the theatre generally hosts populist productions and traditional pantomimes. It also regularly sees comedians and touring bands making a stop here as they tour the area. It is often marketed as a ‘family’ theatre since the pantomimes are so popular with children. For many children in Glasgow, the Pavilion Theatre is their first introduction to the magic of live stage performances. Why not come and discover this magic for yourself and visit the beautiful old Pavilion Theatre the next time you are in Glasgow?