May 1916: Opening of Cranston’s Picture House, Renfield Street, on Monday the 22nd

An article under the heading “PICTURE HOUSES”, on page eight of The Glasgow Herald, on Tuesday the 23rd of May, 1916,



“CRANSTON’S PICTURE HOUSE.—For many years Cranston’s Tea-Rooms in Renfield Street were a popular

resort for business men and visitors to the city. Some time ago the management decided to transform the

well-known establishment into a picture house, and the building having been reconstructed for this purpose

the new place of entertainment was opened yesterday. Both externally and internally it is a very handsome

building. It is in the Renaissance style of architecture and there is a rich display of marble without any tendency

to garishness. The theatre is in the centre of the erection, the other portions, which are not yet completed, being

intended for use as tea-rooms. In the construction every safeguard has been taken advantage of. To ensure

stability steel girders have been used wherever feasible, and care has been taken to make the building fireproof.

The scheme of interior decoration is a melange of black, yellow, and orange. A soft amber shade reflected from

the inverted ceiling mingling with these colours gives an excellent environment for a resting hour or so of

amusement. The seating facilities have been arranged with the main idea of providing the utmost possible

comfort, the fauteuils being deep and luxurious. But the most important item in the construction of a picture

theatre is adequate ventilation, and in this respect satisfactory results have been attained. The roof is high

and the arrangements are such that the atmosphere is kept pure by the introduction of a fresh supply of air

every few minutes.”



The picture house opened with the featured film Carmen, starring Miss Geraldine Farrar, and the programme

included “an interesting variety of comedy and topical pictures.”


There is an advertisement for the opening of “This New and Handsomely Equipped Picture House”, on page

six of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 22nd.




George Fairfull-Smith, August 2023.