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Glasgow, 520 Sauchiehall Street

Cinema (20th Century), Showroom (19th Century)

Site Name Glasgow, 520 Sauchiehall Street

Classification Cinema (20th Century), Showroom (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) 341 Renfrew Street

Canmore ID 266999

Site Number NS56NE 4828

NGR NS 58062 66017

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Glasgow, City Of
  • Parish Glasgow (City Of Glasgow)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District City Of Glasgow
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Site Management (24 June 2014)

Late 19th century multi-period, possibly with earlier fabric, former piano showroom, now bar, with linked frontages to Sauchiehall Street (2-storey, now altered) and Renfrew Street (single storey and basement).SAUCHIEHALL STREET ELEVATION: to ground, large opening now with modern entrance and window, with circa 1895 red sandstone ashlar surround with Greek detailing by David Paton Low. Single storey addition above of circa 1897 by Bruce & Hay. Dentilled cornice, flanking torch-bearing Ionic order caryatids, eaves cornice and stepped parapet with pipe-playing winged Harmony figure.RENFREW STREET ELEVATION: circa 1897, Bruce & Hay, single storey and basement 5-bay red ashlar sandstone. Corniced pilasters dividing bays, eaves cornice and parapet with central prominent bust of Beethoven. Piended roof. To right, entrance, to left, 4 single light windows with 2 basement entrances below.Modern glazing. Grey slates to Renfrew Street building. Pair of cast-iron lamp posts with some railing to Renfrew Street.

An idiosyncratic streetscape feature with striking sculpture-embellished elevations to both Sauchiehall Street and Renfrew Street, that to Sauchiehall Street altered. The building has an extensive and complicated history. On this site was the Georgian terrace Albany Place of which there may still be some remaining fabric. In the late 1890s the Albany Place feus were extended to the north and south to permit frontages on to Sauchiehall Street and Renfrew Street. Thomas Ewing, a piano seller, commissioned David Paton Low to create a single-storey salon fronting on to Sauchiehall Street and linking back to his lodgings at 5 Albany Place. Initially named Albany Galleries, it later became Ewing Galleries. In 1897 Bruce & Hay were commissioned by Ewing to extend his premises to the rear towards Renfrew Street. A large rooflit hall for performances was linked to the rear of Albany Place. At the same time the Sauchiehall Street elevation was raised by a storey to accommodate a small salon at 1st floor level. In 1912 the building became a cinema, the Vitagraph (later, the King's Cinema), with major (principally internal) alterations carried out by John Fairweather in 1914. A lounge and tearoom were created within the Sauchiehall side. It is now a bar and nightclub. The Cinema Theatre Association website notes that "As a cinema, it originally seated around 625 in stalls and circle. Renamed the King's Cinema in 1914, and additional interior renovations were carried out in 1931. In 1954 it was the Newscine, a dedicated newsreel cinema, now seating 450. This venture was shortlived, and it started showing full features again, as the Newscine, from 1955. It became the Curzon in 1960, and the Classic in 1964. The building ended its days as a cinema in 1984 as the Tatler Cinema Club". References and Notes updated as part of Cinemas Thematic Study 2007-08. (Historic Scotland)


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