Scottish Cinemas and Theatres

Grosvenor Cinema, Hillhead, Glasgow Back

Grosvenor Cinema
Ashton Lane
Hillhead, Glasgow
Tel. 0141 339 8444

: Cinema, Bar, Restaurant - OPEN
Current Seating: 2 screens, 104 seats each

The Grosvenor cinema finally re-opened to the public on the 28th of November, 2003 after an 18th month closure and dramatic rebuilding program. A special 'film industry' launch night party was held on the 26th November to celebrate the re-birth of  Glasgow's only remaining suburban cinema.

The two screens, on the ground floor roughly in the same location as before, are now joined by a bar ('the lane') on the ground floor entered from Ashton Lane, as well as a huge new bar/restaurant on the upper level ('the loft'), which showcases the full original auditorium ceiling, now fully restored. Film memorabilia complete the effect.

The two screens feature well spaced luxury leather seating, and a back row of leather sofas are also available to hire. They are around 1/3 smaller in area than the old layout. The old Westrex tower projectors have been refurbished and pressed back into service. The screens have full masking but no tabs.

The entire complex is fully licensed, and patrons will be able to take a their drinks with them into the cinemas.

A mixture of general releases, classic films and art-house material is to be shown, and the Grosvenor tradition of late-night showings and Saturday morning kids clubs are to be retained.

Long live the Grosvenor!

current exterior
Current exterior at night
Current exterior to Ashton Lane
The Grosvenor opened in May 1921, originally run by the Glasgow Grosvenor Ltd. It consisted of a single auditorium seating 1337, entered from a foyer on Byres Road, which also included a cafe and soda fountain.
ABC bought the cinema in 1929, and ran it until 1976, when Caledonian Associated Cinemas purchased it. By this time, seating had been reduced slightly to about 1035.
In 1980, allegedly after subsidence caused by extensions to the nearby subway station, the original foyer was abandoned (and later demolished) in favour of a newly created entrance on Ashton Lane at the rear of the auditorium.
The balcony area was blocked off and abandoned, and two small luxury cinemas, the Ashton (276 seats) and the Kelvin (253 seats), were created by dividing the original stalls area in two lengthways down the middle.
In 2001 Caledonian were moving out of the cinema market, and sold the building to Glasgow based G1 Group (who also own the Hillhead Salon Picture House - now Gong restaurant).

Byres Road Entrance
Courtesy Chris Doak

The cinema closed for 'refurbishment' on June 30th 2002, although no work was done on the building until early 2003. The extensive rebuilding effectively reduced the building to three walls and a roof, with an entirely new steelwork structure being erected within and around the old walls, and a completely new facade created to blend into the rest of Ashton Lane.
Click here for more pictures of the Grosvenor exterior - taken pre-2003 redevelopment work. See what it used to look like!

Pictures of the pre-refurbishment interior (dating from around 1996), including one of the old circle and surviving original decoration are also available here, courtesy of Kevin Gooding.

Pictures of the interior of the Kelvin auditorium, taken on the last night before closure in June 2002, just before a showing of The Smallest Show on Earth, are available here.

Pictures taken during various stages of the demolition and  rebuilding work - revealing quite a few original features - can be found here and here.
The original plans for the redevelopment work - quite different from what we ended up with - can be seen here for comparison purposes.

Some shots of inside the original projection room from 1978 - before it was demolished! - are here, here and here, thanks to Andy Simmonds.
Screen 2
Screen 2
Projection Booth
Projection Room
Screen 1
Screen 1

Click here for a selection of pictures from the launch night party

Unless otherwise specified, all photographs and other material copyright (c) 2001 - 2020 Gordon Barr and Gary Painter.
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