A recent donation to the Scottish Theatre Archive, this fully illustrated volume documents the fascinating history of the Alhambra Theatre.
The Alhambra was designed by Sir John J. Burnet (1857-1938), a Scottish Edwardian architect who was noted for a number of prominent buildings in Glasgow and London. His firm designed the Empire Exhibition, 1938.
The exterior was red brick banded with black panels of white glazed tiles topped with twin oriental domed lanterns. The foyer for stalls and circle patrons was a double height space with grand staircases on either side, recessed mirrors framed by columns at first floor height and a heavily panelled ceiling . The enormous auditorium was planned to accommodate 2,800 people.
With the latest system for flying scenery and a revolving stage the Alhambra could claim to be the best equipped theatre north of London.
The theatre opened on 9 December 1910 at 41 Waterloo Street, and until 1954 was owned by Glasgow Alhambra Ltd with Alfred Butt and R.H. Gillespie as managing directors. In 1954 the Alhambra was acquired by Howard and Wyndham.
The final show was a concert by Cilla Black on 24 May 1969 and the building was demolished in 1971.
You can find out more about the Alhambra Theatre on the Scottish Theatre Archive Collection Description page.
Graeme Smith is an Honorary Research Fellow at Strathclyde University. He is also author of The Theatre Royal : entertaining a nation Sp Coll STA M.c.130
Images from the Scottish Theatre Archive exhibition, currently on level 3, are now available to view as a set on the Library’s Flickr page