Cinema-going flourished in Glasgow in the early 20th century. There were around 139 cinemas across the city, typically housed in stylish Art Deco buildings,

According to Glasgow City Heritage Trust, Glaswegians went to the movies more than the rest of Scotland, making approximately 51 trips a year.

Children could pay their admission with a ‘jeelly jaur’ – an empty, clean jam jar – and it was somewhere the rich, poor, young, and old came together for joy, laughter, tears and action.

Opened on Christmas Day 1922, the Waverley Picture House in Shawlands Cross entertained guests with the latest flicks for over 50 years.

Southsiders were not short of entertainment at the time, with neighbouring cinemas the Embassy and the White Elephant on Pollokshaws Road taking in the crowds. 

Glasgow Times:

But the Waverley had the edge, with its tea rooms joining the picture hall so visitors could have a cuppa and a cake, and a theatre organ which would enhance the cinema experience for decades until it was removed in 1964.

Seating 1320 film fans, the picture house was built with red sandstone and an impressive dome with Egyptian columns.

The picture house was renamed the ABC in 1964 until it closed in 1973. The space was then used as a bingo hall and then a snooker club before becoming a derelict space.

Glasgow Times:

In the early 2000s, the G1 group bought the venue and transformed it into Tusk, a bar/nightclub.

The Waverley Tea Rooms continued to operate alongside the club until it closed in 2007, and the tea rooms suffered the same fate ten years later. 

Whispers of transforming the once decadent theatre space into a brand-new cinema have circled over the last few years, but in 2021 Wetherspoons announced that they would be spending £3million to transform it into a pub.