Celebrating 80 Years of Cinema on Rose Street

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Thursday 9 May – Sunday 12 May: 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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

On Twitter, use the hashtag #80YearsOfCinema.

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Thursday 9 May (20.15)

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.

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Friday 10 May (19.50)

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.

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Saturday 11 May (14.45)

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.

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Sunday 12 May (14.15)

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.

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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 here 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. 

All Monday to Friday shows before 5pm have capacity capped at 50% (unless otherwise stated). All other screenings have full unlimited seating capacity (unless otherwise stated).

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