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Britannia Panopticon Music Hall

Address: 113-117 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HD, Scotland (City Centre)
Phone Number: +44 141 553 0840
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Ranked #34 of 127 Attractions in Glasgow
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Britannia Panopticon is the worlds oldest surviving music hall. It opened in 1857 above a pub called the Britannia Vaults and it served the working classes who made Glasgow the Industrial Capital of the World. For over 80 years Britannia entertained, and in addition to being a music hall, the building also accommodated early cinema, wax works, carnival amusements, freak show and basement zoo.Famous debut performances include Stan Laurel in 1906 and Jack Buchanan in 1911. Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon - 4pm (unless a show is programmed) from April - November for general viewing.Britannia Panopticon is also open for music hall shows, silent movie and Laurel & Hardy film nights, marts, festivals and other events. Admission is generally free (we charge to get back out). Please donate when you visit to help us raise money to conserve this wonderful historic survivor from the heyday of music hall and early cinema. Britannia Panopticon is also available for private hire (conditions apply).

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37 reviews from our community

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English first
Stirling, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
76 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2014

The oldest surviving music hall and where stan laurel debuted in 1906. Unfortunately the building is in great need of refurbishment as they are trying to raise funds for this but it is still open and still has shows on. Its very dark upstairs. Its worth a visit for the history and to try help them raise funds

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
14 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2014

It's been a long time since I was here so decided to visit on Saturday 13th. Aug, they were acting out Glasgow's Great War WW1, it was a mix of singing a long and comedy, all well played by the actors and not forgetting the musicians who filled in at the silent movie that was played. Always worth a visit... More

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Glasgow
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2014

Great to look round the oldest theatre in Glasgow where Jack Buchanan and Stan Laurel first played. See where the audiences sat in the wooden seats looking down on the players.

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Scotland, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

Just went to have a look on a hangover day with friends. Turned out to be really interesting, such a lovely atmosphere and the volunteers were really helpful and knew so much about the history of the building. Going back tonight so see the Silent Comedy!! Cute wee place, worth a visit.

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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
17 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

This place is jam packed full of artefacts of Glasgow's music hall and social history. Period costumes adorned by the volunteers just adds to it's charm. They do have a little shop to purchase little postcards, canvas bags and other memorabillia...but don't miss out a visit to their charity shop in the high street...

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

Very interesting shows here, more about nostalgia, and kept going by the efforts of the people involved, donations and their love of the music hall. I lived in Glasgow for 40 years and only discovered it when I came back as a tourist. Check the web for times and shows. Presently they do not charge an entry fee but voluntary... More

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Scotland
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2014

Since I was introduced to it a good few years ago, the Britannia Music Hall has become like a second home. Full of amazing history and dedicated volunteers it is well worth a visit to see a variety of performers in a music hall show, watch a silent movie (with live musical accompaniment) or just have a look around. Donations... More

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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

An interesting piece of glasgow theatre history, volunteers on hand to give you the story of this music gall

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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
9 attraction reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

Off the beaten track (you enter off an alley) the Panopticon is like stepping into a Victorian/Edwardian timewarp. The hall is incredibly atmospheric and is apparently being restored by volunteers through the donations you pay for the performance. As a local, I was aware of the Panopticon, but hadn't visited before. We turned up not sure what to expect and... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

Looks so run down...but...its a great place to visit...The shows r really fun and actors are friendly...so much history in the place...would so recommend it big time

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