Records of the Metropole and Empire Theatres, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

Programmes, posters, scripts, licences, production notes, press cutting books, letters, photographs and contracts undated

Administrative / Biographical History

The  Metropole Theatre was formally known as the Scotia Theatre, which opened in  1862  as a music hall, it changed its name to the Metropole in  1897 . In its early years the Metropole was managed by Arthur Jefferson, his son Stanley, auditioned at another Glasgow theatre, the Panopticon. After some success he eventually changed his name to Laurel and became know as Stan Laurel. The Metropole was an important venue for many Scottish artistes, many of whom began their careers there, such as W F Frame and Harry Lauder. From 1937 the Logan family was closely associated with the theatre. The Metropole was destroyed by fire on 28 October  1961 .

The  Empire Theatre began life as the Gaiety Theatre in March  1874 . It was rebuilt in 1896-1897 and opened on 05 April  1897  at 31-35 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, with Vesta Tilley topping the bill. The proprietors were Moss Empires. After a major refit in 1930, it became the second largest variety theatre in Britain and one of the most important venues. Stars from across Europe and America appeared there, such as Abbot & Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Jack Benny, Judy Garland, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra. The Empire had the reputation of being the English comedians graveyard and even acts who later became famous (for example, Moprecambe and Wise), were often coolly or often hostilely received by critical Empire audiences. Despite the level of entertainment, the theatre closed and the site was sold off, 25 March  1963 .

Source: M.H. Hay, Glasgow theatres and music halls: a guide (Glasgow, 1980)


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Purchased with support from the National Fund for Acquisitions 1996

Other Finding Aids

Item level descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue available at the  University of Glasgow Library, Department of Special Collections, searching by the call number STA Ae-Af.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by Andrew Thomson, Hub Project Archivist, 27 September 2004.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Special Collections.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

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Location of Originals

This material is original


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