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Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day

Buildings and Cityscape

Entertainment Buildings

By Charles McKean

Glasgow Film Theatre Most of Glasgow's approximately 140 cinemas, never mind dance halls, fell out of use and were demolished or converted for bingo after World War Two, although the Cosmo, Rose Street, was refashioned as the Glasgow Film Theatre by Gillespie Kidd & Coia. The return of cinema in the 1980s and 1990s was in multiplexes mostly on the outskirts, an exception being the enormous blue and orange UGC tower.

New Athenaeum Theatre After the acoustically outstanding St Andrews Halls were burnt out in the 1960s, concerts moved first to a cinema in Anderston, then to the City Hall in the Candleriggs. The frosty Royal Concert Hall, designed by Sir Leslie Martin with RMJM (1990), had a brief to cater from concerts to car shows. Scottish Opera occupied the former Theatre Royal, Hope Street, Arup Associates (1975), and Glasgow's Music Quarter was underpinned by spartan, orange-brick geometries of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama by Sir Leslie Martin with William Nimmo (1988), and the Alexander Gibson Opera School, Cowcaddens Road, by Boswell Mitchell & Johnston (1998). The 1872 St Stephen's Church virtually across the road was converted into the Piping School.

Tron Theatre Glasgow's theatres were supplemented by the University of Strathclyde's experimental theatre, Page & Park, within the Ramshorn Kirk, Ingram Street; and by the Tron Theatre, Chisholm Street, the auditorium within James Adam's Tron Kirk (1793) and given a stone, timber and glass carapace by RMJM in 1998.

Hunterian Art Gallery The modernist Hunterian Art Gallery by William Whitfield (1972) incorporates the embalmed terraced home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the 1855 McLellan Galleries, Sauchiehall Street, were refurbished, and "Greek" Thomson's Grecian Chambers, Sauchiehall Street, were transformed into the Centre for Contemporary Arts by Page & Park (2001).

Teppanyaki Bar at the Arthouse The leisure buildings of the late 20th century coffee culture - bars, coffee houses and restaurants - rise and fall almost on a daily basis, vying with each other in either the opulence of a banking hall conversion, or in minimalist, timber glass and metal, coloured theatrical interiors.

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