The Theatre Royal was opened by John Jackson in Dunlop Street in 1782, at a cost of £3,000. Jackson was the lessee of the Grahamston Theatre just outside the city boundaries and of theatres in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
Initially, the new theatre thrived. However, the opening of another theatre (also called the Theatre Royal, and with Jackson as its manager) in Queen Street in 1805 resulted in a drastic decline in audiences at the the theatre in Dunlop Street. It was sold in 1807 and a part was converted to become warehouse space. In 1822 it was sold again and became the Caledonian Theatre, with its cellar occupied by a rival showman, who opened the rival Theatre of Fancy there.
The Caledonian was damaged by fires in 1840 and 1849 (the latter claimed sixty-five lives). A third fire in 1863 practically destroyed the building shown in this illustration. Six years later the premises erected in its place were demolished to make way for the new St Enoch Railway Station.
Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 941.435 GOR
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
Caledonian Theatre, fires, horses, St Enoch Railway Station, street lighting, Theatre of Fancy, Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, Theatre Royal, Queen Street, theatres, warehouses