Green's Playhouse was designed by John Fairweather for George Green Ltd. It took four years to build and when it opened at the corner of Renfrew Street and Renfield Street in 1927 its seating capacity of 4,368 made it the largest cinema in Europe. The ballroom on the floor above could accommodate 6,000 dancers.
The cinema's decor and upholstery were luxurious and a famous feature was the "Golden Divans" which were popular with courting couples. An orchestra and dancing girls added to the spectacle in the early days but the advent of the talkies, together with increased competition and difficulties in obtaining first-run films, made it difficult to fill the seats.
The cinema closed in 1973 but was reopened as an entertainment centre by new owners Unicorn Leisure as the Apollo. It was Glasgow's leading concert venue in the 1970s and 1980s when stars such as Billy Connolly, Diana Ross, Paul McCartney and Tina Turner performed to packed houses, along with leading rock bands such as Yes, Led Zeppelin and The Who. The Apollo closed in 1985.
Reference: Mitchell Library, Gf 381 GLA
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
Apollo, ballrooms, cinemas, concert halls, dance halls, George Green Ltd, Golden Divans, Green's Playhouse, rock music, Unicorn Leisure