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Britannia Panopticon

Thomas Gildard, Robert Hutchison Murdoch Macfarlane

alias Hubner's Animatograph (1887-1906), Britannia Music Hall (1859-1887), Panopticon, Tron Cinema
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1857 | Construction
designed according to Gildard & MacFarlane.


Thomas Gildard |main architect
Hugh Barclay |architect
James Macintyre |architect


The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall is a rare gem which remains full of atmosphere, and the feeling of a rowdy music-hall audience is still tangible in the auditorium. Dated 1857, it was speculatively built as warehousing, but this proposed use was quickly abandoned and the architects Gildard & Macfarlane turned it into a music hall instead. Patrons would have sat on chairs at tables and on wooden benches, with up to 1,500 people watching the performance which would take place several times a day. This was entertainment before the advent of formal planning, such as ladies’ toilets or fire safety measures. With an interior which is largely composed of applied and carved timber, it is remarkable that it has survived.


In: Acting with confidence. Scotland's theatre architecture. ISBN: 978-1-84917-038-3.





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