We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Britannia Panopticon Music Hall

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 113-117 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HD, Scotland
Phone Number: +44 141 553 0840
Improve this listing
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No

Britannia Panopticon is the worlds oldest surviving music hall. It...

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).

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 46 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 28
  • 16
    Very good
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
Quirky and interesting venue.

I visited during Doors Open week, after recommendation from family and friends. Entry is via stairs off the alley down the side of the building - fortunately this was signposted... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed October 4, 2015
Glasgow, United Kingdom

Similar Things to Do in Glasgow

Add Photo Write a Review

46 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Rate and write a review
Roll over, then click to rate
  Click to rate
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2015

I visited during Doors Open week, after recommendation from family and friends. Entry is via stairs off the alley down the side of the building - fortunately this was signposted. The volunteers on duty were helpful without being intrusive, and visitors could ask questions or just have a wander round. The building, which has a fascinating history (see more on... More 

1 Thank DrMedieval
Level Contributor
112 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2015

This is unmissable. Off Trongate and entered from an alley (easily found ). An atmospheric time capsule of a place with friendly enthusiastic staff. Regular shows. Stan laurel and Cary Grant appeared here and the place is full of the ghosts of the Victorian music hall, Don't miss it. Doesn't open till noon. On street car parking difficult but St... More 

2 Thank Jack L
North West England
Level Contributor
47 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2015

Go and see this. Fabulous old music hall with a great talk from Peter. A lovely chap with a real passion for the place. Even let my son play the old silent movie piano. Go along, have a look and buy something or leave them a couple of quid you won't be disappointed. The only thing that caught us out... More 

1 Thank billw400
Preston UK
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2015

The oldest music hall in the country all staff very friendly and helpfull and dedicated to preserving and promoting the venue

1 Thank TonyDaviesPrestonUK
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

This was an enormous surprise! Look out for the billboard near the Tron end of Argyle St, go down the lane and left up the stairs and you'll find yourself in an original Victorian Music Hall! The volunteers there are bringing it back to life and will happily tell you all about it. It's dark and mysterious and full of... More 

Thank EAber
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015

Step back in time and savour the eclectic acts in the World's Oldest Music Hall ie The Britannia Ponopticon. The performers are superb and the atmosphere electric. This theatre has been graced by Cary Grant, Stan Laurel and Harry Lauder, possibly performing to a rowdy Glaswegian audience. At present there is a drive to bring the theatre back to its... More 

Thank evelyn m
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2015 via mobile

Had a great time at the Music Hall Memories show. Was a good fun, old time variety show and a great way to raise funds for the restoration. It's a fantastic building full of history with a mini museum to the music halls past. If you like that kind of thing you'll love this place, spooky and wonderful!

Thank CatG1981
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
67 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015

You absolutely must visit this music hall, apparently the oldest in the world. Run as a charity and in urgent need of funds, the building is extraordinary and the team has worked so hard to save and preserve what is here. You can go and look around the old hall and if you are lucky see one of the shows... More 

1 Thank RachDi
Rosebank, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2015

This is well worth a visit, this amazing Victorian Theatre in it's original state will take you back in time to how entertainment was 100 years ago. A one of a kind unique experience. The building is run as a charity and desperately needs donations to keep open.

1 Thank Marjay_12
Stirling, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
111 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 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

3 Thank laura m

Travelers who viewed Britannia Panopticon Music Hall also viewed


Been to Britannia Panopticon Music Hall? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Britannia Panopticon Music Hall and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
7 months ago

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Britannia Panopticon Music Hall staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?