The Grade I listed theater on Renfield Street is set to be taken over by major UK theater group Trafalgar Entertainment, our sister The Herald reports.
The news will end months of speculation about the future of the 119-year-old theatre, which has been dubbed Scotland’s “Home of Diversity”.
In September last year, plans were drawn up to sell the theater to city rivals Ambassador Theater Group (ATG) for £3.9m. However, ATG chose not to proceed.
It was revealed shortly after that company embarked on the acquisition of a number of American theaters.
In the wake of ATG’s decline, there were serious concerns about the future of the 1,400-seat Glasgow Theatre, when manager Ian Gordon announced his departure.
Mr. Gordon not only maintained the theatre, but wrote, directed, produced or commissioned most of the performances staged.
Since that time, there has been talk of a Glasgow-based business consortium buying the stand, owned by Tim and Nick Martin, but nothing came of it.
However, Glasgow theater is seen as a good business opportunity.
It has been extensively renovated and features state of the art sound and lighting equipment. She has cash assets in excess of £2m, and her bantu turnover alone always exceeds £1m.
Also boasting an entertainment legacy dating back to the era of Harry Lauder and Charlie Chaplin, the pavilion has hosted the likes of comedy legend Sir Billy Connolly, pop group Wet Wet Wet and panto stars The Krankies.
Trafalgar Entertainment’s arrival on the scene wasn’t entirely unexpected. Trafalgar Entertainment is the UK’s second largest theater operator, operating the Trafalgar and Olympia theaters in London, as well as 12 regional theatres.
This move heralded a new chapter in the life of the ward. The theatre, which started life as a music hall, was flooded in the early 1990s when a water tank burst.
Since first opening, the suite and its Louis XV-style interior have been at the heart of Louis XV-style interior design and an entertaining legacy that extends back to Lauder and Chaplin. Glasgow’s leisure life for decades.
The theater survived the deprivations of two world wars and the beanstalk disaster at The Krankies, when diminutive star Janet Tough fell from a high-lift platform and was badly injured.
It was reborn in the 1980s after former employee George Martin took his redundancy money and hired Ian Gordon to run the operation.
Since that time, she has had to endure a major renovation as a result of a devastating fire at a nearby nightclub in Victoria.
But over the years, she’s managed to showcase and develop accomplished performers, and has worked with shows that have lasted for years, from comedy legend Lex McClain to Robert Halpern and, in recent years, Browns star Brendan O’Carroll.
It is one of the only major unsupported commercial theaters in Scotland, and has had to fight for audiences, constantly coming out with new undercurrents of comedy, such as Des Dillons’ Singing I’m No’ A Billy and James Barclay’s Paras Over the Barras.
Irreverent stand-up stars like Ricky Gervais have followed in Sir Bailey’s footsteps as well as a host of stand-up comedians, from Jim Davidson to Julian Clary.
Scottish acts such as pop group Wet Wet Wet, in the early phase of their career, played the wing, not to mention Singing Kettle and Sydney Devine, allowing Iain Gordon to be presented with the opportunity to make himself known on the wing. “Scottish National Theater of Variety Theatre”.
A theater insider noted: “Whoever buys the suite is buying a piece of Scottish theatre’s history.
The Pavilion has an incredible reputation for being fun.
“It will be interesting to see what the future entails.”
Trafalgar Entertainment was formed in 2017 by Sir Howard Panter, a prominent theater owner and producer and one of the key figures in the arts and entertainment industry with over 40 years of experience.
He set up the company with his wife Dame Rosemary Squire, who founded the Ambassador Theater Group, which also owns the King’s and Theater Royal in Glasgow and the Playhouse in Edinburgh.
If Trafalgar Entertainment completes the purchase of the stand, it will be its 13th venue and will move it to a stable that includes the Theater Royal in Sydney, Australia.
Trafalgar Entertainment declined to comment.
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