IT WAS the first purpose-built arthouse cinema in the UK, outside of London, and it was right here in Glasgow.

The GFT began life as the Cosmo when it opened on Rose Street in 1939, 10 years after the Film Society of Glasgow (also the first in Scotland and the first outside London) was founded with the assistance of Charles Oakley.

Oakley helped get the GFT off the ground, with an introduction by pioneering documentary filmmaker John Grierson.

Glasgow Times:

Grierson said he believed it would contribute not just to cultural vigour, but also the city’s democratic and social life, presenting cinema as “an instrument of observation and enlightenment as well as a form of art and entertainment.”

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Designed as the flagship for the Singleton chain (which also included the Kingsway, Mecca and Riddrie cinemas in Glasgow), the original 850-seater was cinema architect James McKissack’s final design.

Glasgow Times:

The Cosmo became the Glasgow Film Theatre on May 2, 1974 and it remains a treasured institution for the city and beyond, with three screens offering films, lectures, discussions, festivals, workshops and more.