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Britannia Panopticon Music Hall

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Address: 113-117 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HD, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 141 553 0840
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No

Britannia Panopticon is the worlds oldest surviving music hall. It opened...

Britannia Panopticon is the worlds oldest surviving music hall. It opened in 1857 above a pub called the Britannia Vaults and it served the working classes who made Glasgow the Industrial Capital of the World. For over 80 years Britannia entertained, and in addition to being a music hall, the building also accommodated early cinema, wax works, carnival amusements, freak show and basement zoo.Famous debut performances include Stan Laurel in 1906 and Jack Buchanan in 1911. Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon - 4pm (unless a show is programmed) from April - November for general viewing.Britannia Panopticon is also open for music hall shows, silent movie and Laurel & Hardy film nights, marts, festivals and other events. Admission is generally free (we charge to get back out). Please donate when you visit to help us raise money to conserve this wonderful historic survivor from the heyday of music hall and early cinema. Britannia Panopticon is also available for private hire (conditions apply).

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 69 reviews
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    Very good
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  • 1
A little gem

A great treat to see complimentary acts and hear talented musicians play along to silent movies. Each week this venue aspires to show the same film that was being screened in... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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69 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 67: English reviews
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A great treat to see complimentary acts and hear talented musicians play along to silent movies. Each week this venue aspires to show the same film that was being screened in Glasgow 100 years before. This is officially the oldest music hall in the U.K. and deserves much more support.

Thank claire82017
Carluke, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Visited on Easter Sunday to see panto with two children (3&10). It's a very interesting building albeit very cold (so wrap up warm). No good for anyone with mobility problems as there's a steep flight of stairs to enter building. Nice info boards about the theatre's past and Stan Laurel (played there once). As for the show/panto: This was the... More 

Thank coakshar
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Strolling along Argyle Street towards the Tron Theatre, I stumbled upon a fabulous find- the oldest music hall in the world! Accessed down a lane (the original frontage having been converted to an Gaming arcade), you climb a couple of flights of stairs, then through a door and you find yourself in the stalls of the theatre. Proper tip up... More 

Thank Graham S
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2017 via mobile

Fantastic building and so interesting as you effectively step back in time. The show was funny and hugely entertaining. The atmosphere was great and audience participation was encouraged. I loved it and I haven't laughed so much in ages.

Thank mirocat
Level Contributor
32 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2016

The old music hall is slowly being brought back to life - presumable as money becomes available. There is no formal tour - you just wander round and look at the structure - which is quite dimly lit. There are volunteers with some information too. Amazingly it is in use with rows of collapsible chairs set out! there are old... More 

Thank HarryWragg40
Level Contributor
96 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 November 2016

Iconic venue for Section -33 s latest event. Fab music accompanied different foods , very tasty, Well done to Kyle and his staff.

Level Contributor
312 reviews
116 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2016 via mobile

We came here for an evening of spooky stories. Who could think of a better place to hear some great modern Scottish tales with a folksy and supernatural slant. The venue was perfect for such an event. The bar was well stocked but, we really needed a cup of tea or coffee on a windy Autumnal night after queuing outside... More 

Thank mcmonScotland
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
731 reviews
335 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 380 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2016

Expected to find a degree of restoration however no doubt a Grade 1 Listed Building is a difficult place to 'slap a coat of paint' on and will require a great deal of money and a lot of research before work starts. Lots of displays to peruse and the theatre now has a bar, sales goods, etc. We enjoyed the... More 

Thank Rossergruffydd
Beith, Ayrshire
Level Contributor
154 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2016

We visited as part of Door Open Glasgow and found an interesting, if jaded, gem. They had a very interesting exhibition detailing some of the shows which had taken place in the music hall. Well worth a visit.

Thank mosouthbarr
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2016 via mobile

This has been on the wish list for a good few years now, not only to visit Glasgow for the first time, but to seek the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall in all its faded glory. The exterior on Trongate, gave the impression that the hall itself would be in better condition, and finding the entrance was up a darkened ally... More 

1 Thank TheDocker33

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