The Glasgow Film Theatre has announced a full programme of special screenings to celebrate two milestone anniversaries.

The iconic picture house first opened its door as the Cosmo in May 1939, 85 years ago, and became the GFT on May 2 1974, 50 years ago.

In addition, 2024 marked the 20th anniversary of the Glasgow Film Festival which took place earlier this month.

A huge programme of events has been announced for May to celebrate, including a special screening of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey on 'unrestored' 70mm celluloid, created by Christopher Nolan.

Sunday May 26 will see back-to-back screenings of sci-fi classics Solaris and Blade Runner, and there will also be a twist on the long-running 'Scorsese of the Month'.

To mark GFT’s anniversary year, a special edition for May will feature a Scorsese on Scorsese - In Conversation event with Ian Christie. As editor of the seminal book, Scorsese on Scorsese, Professor Christie will discuss his many interviews and on-set experiences with Martin Scorsese and offer his insights on the director’s unique place in American cinema.

The anniversary programme will begin with Roma – Federico Fellini’s ode to the Italian capital – which was the first film to screen at GFT on the day it opened in 1974.

Glasgow Times: 8 1/2 (Fellini, 1963). Picture: BFI

May will also see the launch of Glasgow Film’s ‘£50 for 50’ campaign, where supporters can take part in celebrating 50 years of GFT by donating £50. People making donations will become part of GFT’s cinematic history and help shape the next 50 years of independent film. In return, donors will be invited to a special screening and have their support recognised on screen.

Wong Kar-Wai’s romantic, political and heartbreaking film In the Mood for Love will return for two 4K screenings, along with Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund’s Brazilian crime story City of God. One of the world’s 25 Best Films as rated on the IMDb To 250, it has recently been remastered for its 21st anniversary and will return to GFT for a special screening.

Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources are two of the most popular French films of all time and have been regular audience favourites at GFT since their initial release in 1986. The cinema will invite fans to appreciate them anew in crisp 4K at a special Double Bill screening.

Late Night screenings have been a key element of GFT’s programme since the week it first opened, kicking off in 1974 with François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

Newly relaunched as a regular monthly event, in recent years the programming for the Late Night slot has leaned into cult classics. One of the most enduringly popular, John Carpenter’s Escape from New York, will return for a Late Night screening on Friday 3 May. Hitchcock will feature in the cinema’s anniversary year celebrations, with two special screenings of Rear Window on 4K to mark the film’s own 70th anniversary.

There will also be a Calamity Jane singalong and a showing of so-bad-it's-good cult classic The Room by Tommy Wiseau, regularly touted as the worst film ever made, which will be followed by a Q+A session with Greg Sestero, who plays Mark in the film.

Oscar and BAFTA award-winning film Cinema Paradiso will have a special screening on the Monday May 6 bank holiday, while there will be another chance to see well-received Scottish film Aftersun.

The Oscar-nominated feature will return to the big screen at the GFT for a one-off screening after becoming a box office hit at the venue on its release in 2022.

Paul Gallagher, GFT Programme Manager, said: “Looking back over 50 years of GFT programmes, it became really clear to me that we had to major on brilliant European and non-English language films for this anniversary season, as this is what GFT has uniquely excelled at showcasing and bringing to Glasgow audiences over the years.

"Along with this, we've hosted many crowd-pleasing communal moments, so it was essential to me that we revisit a few of those!

"My hope is that this celebratory programme goes some way to capturing the essence of what makes watching a film at GFT so special, and we invite everyone to come and be a part of the anniversary celebrations and help us ensure GFT continues for many years to come.”

The GFT is operated by Glasgow Film, an educational charity which also runs the award-winning Glasgow Film Festival and Glasgow Youth Film Festival, and is the lead organisation for Film Hub Scotland. GFT is the city’s original independent arthouse cinema and the home of film in Glasgow. Glasgow Film is funded by Creative Scotland, Screen Scotland and Glasgow City Council.

Tickets for the anniversary programme of films go on sale at 12pm (noon) on Wednesday 3 April from and the GFT Box Office.