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