building opened in September 1911 as the Olympia Theatre
of Varieties, with an interior by Frank Matcham (seating around
2000). The exterior was designed by George Arthur.|
It was sold to Scottish Cinema and Variety Theatres (SCVT - the
pre-cursor to the ABC chain) in 1924.
The interior was rebuilt to better suit cinema use in 1938 by prolific
cinema architects McNair & Elder, at which point it seated 1689.
Renamed the ABC in 1963, it continued as a cinema until March 1974.
From 1978 it was used as a bingo hall, and later as a furniture
warehouse. It has been sitting derelict since around 2000.
In 2003, Glasgow City Council granted planning permission to demolish
and build flats behind a partially retained facade, though to date no
work has yet been done on this.
serious fire occurred in the building on November 30th 2004, and a man
who was believed to have been sleeping rough in the derelict building
later died in hospital due to smoke inhalation. The roads around the
building were closed for most of the day while firemen fought the
blaze. The news story made the front cover of the day's Evening Times.