Your Theatre History: Remembering the good old days of variety theatre

October proved to be a busy month for the Scottish Theatre Archive. With our colleagues at The Mitchell Library and Paisley Central Library we hosted two ‘Your Theatre History’ days, celebrating Glasgow and Paisley’s distinctive theatre history. Alongside a display of local theatre material the days offered two free special events.

Welcome to The Mitchell Library

Welcome to The Mitchell Library

The first of these  events took place in the Moir-Dyer Room of The Mitchell Library, Glasgow. The morning session ‘Exploring Your Theatre History’ focused not only on Glasgow’s rich local theatre history but also offered the opportunity to discover how to go about researching a relative or family member who worked in the Scottish theatre.  Using the resources and expertise of the staff of The Mitchell Library and the Scottish Theatre Archive this hands-on session proved a great success.

Dr Paul Maloney delivering lecture

Dr Paul Maloney delivering lecture

Researching family history

Researching family history

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The afternoon session was ‘Remembering the Metropole’. Perhaps you remember it as the Empress or the Falcon?

Hullawrerr. Metropole, St George's Cross, Glasgow, 1968 May 6. STA JLC 46/57

Hullawrerr. Metropole, St George’s Cross, Glasgow, 1968 May 6. STA JLC 46/57

'Variety at the Empire'. Empire Theatre, Glasgow, 1959 March 2. STA Fn 8/7b

‘Variety at the Empire’. Empire Theatre, Glasgow, 1959 March 2. STA Fn 8/7b

Treasure Island. Falcon Theatre, Glasgow, 1961 December 18-January 13. STA Fm 8/16

Treasure Island. Falcon Theatre, Glasgow, 1961 December 18-January 13. STA Fm 8/16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Situated at St George’s Cross, the Metropole was an iconic local Glasgow theatre which staged everything from tartan variety shows to the Scottish premiere of Hair. This session included a talk by Bruce Peter, a short film screening and an informal discussion, sharing memories of the Metropole

 

Welcome to Paisley Central Library

Welcome to Paisley Central Library

 

 

Our next event was at Paisley Central Library. As at The Mitchell Library, the morning session focused on ‘Exploring Your Theatre History’. Renfrewshire has a wide collection of records and resources to help you research your family history and many of these are available in the Heritage Centre in Paisley Central Library. The service is run by Renfrewshire Libraries who also offer free family history surgeries to get you started.

 

 

 

The little minister. The Paisley Theatre, Paisley, 1930 December 8. STA JLC 28/14

The little minister. The Paisley Theatre, Paisley, 1930 December 8. STA JLC 28/14

Victory Variety Theatre, Paisley. STA JLC 28/13

Victory Variety Theatre, Paisley. STA JLC 28/13

 

The afternoon session was on ‘Remembering the Paisley Theatre’. The Paisley Theatre (laterly called the Victory before it’s closure) was opened in 1890 and was the first fire-proof theatre to be built in Britain outside of London. The theatre was renamed the Victory Theatre in 1934, with the last show at the Victory Theatre on 10 January 1959.

Again the afternoon session included a talk, a short film screening and a group discussion which allowed participants to share memories of the Paisley Theatre with members of the Scottish Theatre Archive and Paisley Library Heritage Services.

 

 

 

 

 

Both events proved to be a great success and if you have any material on the Metropole, The Paisley Theatre, or any other material you may wish to donate to the Scottish Theatre Archive we would love to hear from you.

 

 



Categories: Library, Special Collections

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4 replies

Trackbacks

  1. Exploring Special Collections | University of Glasgow Library
  2. Your Theatre History: Remembering the Dundee Palace | University of Glasgow Library
  3. On Stage with the Scottish Theatre Archive | University of Glasgow Library

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