Music in Glasgow’s Cinemas: The Grand Central Picture House, Jamaica Street, March 1916: Special Engagement of Miss Eva Sparkes, the Eminent Contralto

An advertisement on page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Tuesday the 16th of March, 1916, informed readers about the special

engagement of Miss Eva Sparkes, the eminent contralto, the following week. The ad includes the quote: “Her performance unanimously

acclaimed by the Press to be an artistic triumph.”


A short notice on the The Grand Central’s programme, on page four of the Herald, on Tuesday the 21st, comments: “Solos are rendered by

Miss Eva Sparkes, contralto.” Presumably, this is the Eva Sparkes who featured in a number of B.B.C. broadcasts in the 1920s. For an online

search of these, please see ‘Broadcast – BBC Programme Index’,


Miss Sparkes was scheduled to sing daily, at 3.15, 7.15 and 9.15 p.m.


For information about The Grand Central, please see Bruce Peter, 100 Years of Glasgow’s Amazing Cinemas, 1996, pp. 34-35. The author

comments, on page 34:


“In the early days the Grand Central was upmarket enough to have an orchestra and in the twenties it became the first Glasgow cinema to

show De Forest talking films which involved a record being played while the film was running.”



George Fairfull-Smith, July 2022.