Part of George Singleton’s chain, the Cosmo was the largest "art house" cinema outside London when it opened in Rose Street in May 1939. The architect was James McKissack, whose modernist design was greatly admired. The name was an abbreviation of "cosmopolitan" which indicated the policy of bringing foreign language films to Glasgow.
Audiences responded positively to the opportunity to see films such as this version of Verdi's Il Trovatore, directed by Carmine Gallone, whose British premiere was held at the Cosmo in 1951. The first ever television performance in a Glasgow cinema took place at the Cosmo when the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was screened live in 1953.
The Cosmo was bought by the Scottish Film Council in 1974 and became the Glasgow Film Theatre.
Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 791.430941435 COS
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries and Archives
art house cinemas, cinemas, coronations, Cosmo, GFT, Il Trovatore, modernist, Scottish Film Council, Glasgow Film Theatre