Britannia Panopticon Music Hall

Britannia Panopticon Music Hall

Britannia Panopticon Music Hall
4.5
Architectural BuildingsTheaters
Tuesday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Friday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
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 Tuesday-Saturday noon-5pm (unless a show is programmed) 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 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).
Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles114 reviews
Excellent
65
Very good
40
Average
6
Poor
1
Terrible
2

Dr Bob H
Birmingham, UK245 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2011 • Couples
Up a side street next to Mrs Mitchell's Sweetie Shop on Trongate is a most amazing relic of music hall history, the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall. Stan Laurel made his stage debut here. The exhibits and photographs are interesting and if you stand in the gloom in the middle of the small auditorium you can imagine the atmosphere when the theatre was in full swing. It is worth a visit and if you are walking along Trongate towards Argyle Street on the left-hand side pavement you aren't likely to miss it - there will be someone handing out leaflets and inviting you in. And on the way back out call in to Mrs Mitchell's sweetie shop for a treat.
Written June 26, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

callumoden
Glasgow, UK3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Friends
We went to see Puss in Boots at the weekend and absolutely loved it . The cast were phenomenal , especially in dealing with the little tech issues and the fact the building is freezing .The girl playing Kitty had a fantastic voice and a real cheekiness about her. Harry and the fairy were really funny too . The princess again had a great voice and nearly had me in tears when she sang no one but you . The show also featured 2 Ames . 1 A’s the evil demon who was fantastic at glaring at the audience and being a glittering diva - OMG those dresses and of course the actual dame - Queen Eugenia - call me Effie was brilliant and one of the best Dames I have seen in panto in a while , full of saucy humour and a joy every time she/he came on stage .

The show isn’t also presented in a very much self aware which is brilliant - the cast know what’s going wrong as do the audience . Rather than hide it they point it out and make it funny .

Yes this show doesn’t have the glitz and spectacle of the kings but at Only £7 for a ticket compared to the £20+ we usually pay . It is def worth it although as the building is still fundraising for heating you do need to wrap up warm but the hot apple drink the bar are selling certainly helps and is fantastic .

I can’t wait to go back and see it again and if I don’t get the chance please put me down for a few tickets for next year if you have the same brilliant cast and script .
Written December 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jaggyjaggy
London28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2012 • Couples
I finally got round to visiting the Panopticon on Glasgow's Doors Open weekend. Amazing to think that this can still be in existence and Glasgow's property developers haven't managed to turn into a retail outlet or more flats. So atmospheric, and it is being lovingly cared for. Volunteers were extremely knowledgable, friendly and helpful, and passionate about looking after this hidden treasure. There are lots of events taking place with film and music nights (especially on Hallowe'en) and if I lived in Glasgow I'd be there to see them. Fabulous place, and a real change for your usual detached, sterile 'Visitor Experience'.
Written September 18, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jackomonkey
Edinburgh5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This theatre is well worth a visit. Never seen anything like it...
An old music hall in its original state as of 1938. It's dark and dusty and full of the ghosts of bygone days.
Its also the theatre where Stan Laurel made his debut.
Hosts Laurel and Hardy film shows at various times throughout the year, and other shows.
Well worth a visit!!
Written May 6, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Philippa L
London108 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
We were taken to this wonderful music hall as part of Ganders walking tour of Glasgow. It was a lovely surprise. It is a work in progress and I was delighted to be able to make a donation towards the renovation of this wonderful music hall. So much history is here and it is great to see. A very big thank you to all the volunteers who are working so hard to recreate a piece of history and to Johnny for taking us.
Written August 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

albeback1
Eccles, UK5,076 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Friends
In its current state, I’m surprised the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall is even open for business. It’s quite run down and isn’t in a good state of repair. Apparently this was the venue where Stan Laurel made his debut
Written November 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lurulu2017
Bromsgrove, UK46 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Friends
We were in Glasgow visiting friends when we saw the 'Open Doors' booklet. My wife picked out the Britannia Panoptican Music Hall for a visit as we saw it ages ago on the 'Restoration' TV programme. We found the whole place extremely interesting and the small team working to preserve it very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Special thanks to Judith Bowers who has written a fascinating book about the Panoptican and who not only signed a copy but showed my wife how to play one of their pianolas (yes you do play them, by pumping bellows with your feet to drive them, well at least this one!) and it's not as easy as Judith made it look. If you're in Glasgow centre and you have an hour to spare this special, very old, place is well worth a visit.
Written September 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Graham S
51 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Solo
Strolling along Argyle Street towards the Tron Theatre, I stumbled upon a fabulous find- the oldest music hall in the world! Accessed down a lane (the original frontage having been converted to an Gaming arcade), you climb a couple of flights of stairs, then through a door and you find yourself in the stalls of the theatre. Proper tip up plush red theatre seats are no longer there yet, so you have to make do with the odd chairs and garden furniture chairs which make up the stalls. There happened to be a Magic show on when I visited, comprising three talented young magicians, who involved the small but appreciative audience in their tricks. Three, fifteen minute acts made up the programme, which was to be repeated later on that afternoon. There is no scenery, curtains or ice cream usherettes, but there is a bar at the rear of the room, selling beers ad some spirits Public donations are slowly bringing the theatre back to life and there is a diary of events to view on their website. Stan Laurel and Cary Grant variously appeared on the stage of this historic landmark. I look forward to going back on a regular basis to see the progress of this little known Glasgow landmark.
Written April 24, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jack L
117 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Couples
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 Enoch car park is nearby.
Written September 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

laura m
Stirling, UK193 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Couples
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
Written September 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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