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Britannia Panopticon Music Hall

14 September 2020

16 September 2020

Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival

The world's oldest surviving music hall in the heart of Glasgow's Merchant City where Stan Laurel made his debut in 1906. It has an incredible, quirky, and in some cases downright disgusting past.

Opened in 1857, The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall has seen a variety of entertainments including Music Hall shows, cinematograph, waxworks, rooftop carnival and a basement zoo before it closed in 1938. Saved in 1997 by social historian Judith Bowers and currently undergoing a major conservation project. Marvel at the wonders hidden within its walls.


Digital Events

Live event from Britannia Panopticon

Monday @ 1400-1440
From the stage: How the music hall began and why Britannia Panopticon, the audience and the acts.
Wednesday @ 1400-1440
From the balcony: The development of Britannia Music Hall from music hall to cine-variety and the effect electricity had on the development of new acts.
Saturday @ 1400-1440
From the attic: Tales from Pickard’s Panopticon. The colourful life of A. E. Pickard, Glasgow’s last great showman, who operated the Britannia from 1906 - 1938 as a music hall, cinema, wax works, carnival, freak-show and zoo. He changed the name of the building to Panopticon; meaning ‘to see everything’.

Attend a Facebook Live guided tour!


Author John Connolly discusses his book, "He" - a fictional account of the real Stan Laurel. The Panopticon Music Hall closed in 1938 but one man ensured its lasting fame: Stan Laurel of Laurel & Hardy renown debuted there aged just 16 in 1908. "He" is the poignant story of Laurel and Hardy's lives together, told through the eyes of Stan in his final days. Join John and comedian Phil Differ as they discuss the book and Stan Laurel, and take part with your own questions and comments. Sunday @ 1400-1500

Tune in!

Key Information

  • First floor
  • 117 Trongate
  • Glasgow
  • G1 5HD