Britannia Music Hall

The Britannia Music Hall in 2011 after outer restoration

The Britannia Music Hall (also known as The Panopticon or The Britannia Panopticon) in Trongate, Glasgow, Scotland is the oldest surviving music hall in the world.[1]


Built in 1857 by Thomas Gildard and H. M. McFarlane,[2] it has hosted some of the biggest names on the Music hall circuit. In 1906 Stan Laurel made his first stage appearance there on amateur night.[3] In that same year A. E. Pickard bought the building and changed its name to the Panopticon. He also undertook some major works, installing a freak show, a roof top carnival and a waxworks. He also excavated the basement and installed an indoor zoo. The Panopticon was one of the first buildings in Glasgow become powered by electricity and one of the first cinemas in Scotland. It closed in 1938 when it was sold to a tailors and converted to a workshop. It is currently being conserved by a trust who regularly perform traditional shows in the auditorium. It is now protected as a category A listed building.[4]


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Coordinates: 55°51′25″N 4°14′49″W / 55.857°N 4.247°W / 55.857; -4.247

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