Glasgow Film Theatre celebrates 80 Years of Cinema

Thursday 9 May – Sunday 12 May 2019

Free screenings include Booksmart preview, Mulholland Drive in 4K and family favourite The Wizard of Oz in 4K.

Glasgow Film Theatre will celebrate 80 Years of Cinema with a weekend of free screenings open to all.

 In 1939, Scotland’s first art-house cinema and only the second purpose-built art-house cinema in Britain first opened its doors on Rose Street, named the Cosmo. In 1974, under new ownership, the cinema was renamed Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), as it is today.

Autism Friendly Screenings

The organisation has changed and evolved but the original sense of being at the cutting edge, providing a cosmopolitan programme, and Cinema For All, has remained central to the ethos of the cinema, now a registered educational charity. The first cinema in Scotland to host Autism Friendly screenings – winning the Autism Friendly Award in 2017 – and the first cinema to regularly screen film with Audio Description, GFT is a pioneering leader in accessible cinema, and continues today with regular Dementia Friendly, Autism Friendly and D/deaf and Hard of Hearing friendly events.

Refurbishment at GFT

In 2016, GFT, supported by hundreds of cinema-goers, undertook a major renovation project to improve accessibility throughout the building. Inspired by the classic designs of the Cosmo but with a modern and fresh perspective, and paying homage to the original post Art Deco style of the Cosmo, a stunning butterfly staircase was reinstated in the foyer. GFT now has two bar areas and additional seating areas, accessible toilets, an accessible public platform lift alongside a refurbished Project Room equipped with high spec technology suitable for private hires and education programmes.

Over 700 Titles A Year

Scotland’s most diverse and best publicly attended independent cinema, GFT shows a wide variety of film – over 700 different titles a year from over 60 countries, covering every continent of the world. As was intended from the day the cinema opened its doors in 1939, GFT continues to showcase a broad programme of film – including many non-mainstream and classic titles not screened at any other cinema in Glasgow.

Film Festivals

Championing new talent, GFT is the home of three exciting and forward thinking film festivals: one of the top three film festivals in the UK, Glasgow Film Festival; the largest competitive short film festival in Scotland, Glasgow Short Film Festival; and one of the most innovative youth festivals in Europe, Glasgow Youth Film Festival.

Join in the celebrations at GFT from Thursday 9 May – Sunday 12 May to mark the legacy of film on Rose Street, and look forward to more exciting cinematic innovations to come.




 Thursday 9 May (20.15)  Booksmart

The directorial debut from actor Olivia Wilde, GFT is proud to kick off the celebrations with a preview screening of blisteringly funny, female-driven high school comedy Booksmart on Thursday 9 May. On the eve of their high-school graduation, two grade A seniors (Kaitlyn Dever and Lady Bird’s Beanie Feldstein) decide to pack four years’ worth of partying into one wild night.

mulholland drive

 Friday 10 May (19.50) Mulholland Drive

In 2017, GFT introduced the popular Glasgow Film Festival CineMasters strand to year round programming. One of the first filmmakers to be featured was David Lynch, who visited the cinema in 2007. Arguably Lynch’s crowning cinematic glory, Mulholland Drive screens from a brand new 4K restoration, utilising GFT’s newly installed 4K laser projectors and Dolby 7.1 surround sound. A hugely compelling riddle in film form, Mulholland Drive is a must for every cinephile.

the wizard of oz

 Saturday 11 May (14.45) The Wizard of Oz

The Cosmo opened in 1939 with an introduction by pioneering documentary filmmaker John Grierson. The same year, iconic American musical The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland hit cinema screens across the globe. A firm family favourite, audiences are invited to follow the yellow brick road to GFT and enjoy this free screening of the Technicolor musical in stunning 4K.

cinema paradiso

 Sunday 12 May (14.15) Cinema Paradiso

On the final day of celebrations, join GFT for a free screening of the Oscar-winning classic, Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso. GFT is one of the few cinemas in Scotland who still project regularly from 35mm and 70mm; this nostalgic film – scored by Ennio Morricone – is the embodiment of passion for cinema.

Before the screening there will be a short drinks reception, with drinks courtesy of Kilty Gin and Merchant City Brewers.

 Tickets to these four screenings are free and all donations to Glasgow Film (a registered educational charity in Scotland No. SC005932), to help continue to provide Cinema For All will be gratefully received.

Tickets are available now and can be reserved from or GFT Box Office (0141 332 6535) in advance. Tickets are only available for collection on the day of the performance. All free screenings are limited to maximum of two tickets per person, with the exception of The Wizard of Oz, which is a maximum of four tickets per person.


 Jaki McDougall, Glasgow Film CEO, said:  

“When the Cosmo opened in 1939, it was the first purpose-built art house cinema outside of London.  To this day we’re proud to entertain Glasgow audiences with a broad programme of film including non-mainstream titles not screened anywhere else. We’ve been honoured to welcome a number of high-profile guests to the cinema, including Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and Tilda Swinton. In 1986 GFT became a registered charity, and still championing our ethos of Cinema For All, we continue and evolve our education and engagement programmes in collaboration with schools and communities, young people, people affected by dementia, D/deaf people, autistic people and differently abled people. We are proud of all that we have achieved over the last 80 years, and look forward to the future.”

 Allison Gardner, GFT Director & GFF Co-Director, said:

 “We’re thrilled to host a weekend of free screenings to celebrate the last 80 years as a leading cinema in the UK. Over the years the cinema evolved, but our ethos of excellence and Cinema for All remains. We’re delighted to open the celebrations with a preview screening of cutting edge comedy, the female-led feature debut from Olivia Wilde, Booksmart. The weekend has something for everyone: from David Lynch’s iconic mystery Mulholland Drive – in spectacular 4K no less! – to Technicolor family musical The Wizard of Oz. We round off the celebrations with a real gem, Giuseppe Tornatore’s love-letter to film, Cinema Paradiso. When the cinema opened in 1939, the programme promised ‘cinema of first-rate quality’ – we’re proud to continue to stick by that promise today.”

GFT, 12 Rose Street, Glasgow G3 6RB




Preview: Sunset GFT
May 2019 at Glasgow Film Theatre

This section: Cinema, Events, Fairs, Festivals and Fundraisers

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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