TWO Glasgow theatres have been placed on a UK at-risk register – but two others have been rescued.
The Theatres Trust keeps a register of 49 venues across Britain which are at real risk of being lost, including the 1857 Britannia Panopticon on Argyle Street, said to be the world's oldest surviving music hall, and the 1893 Old Athenaeum on Buchanan Street.
But the 1824 Ramshorn Theatre on Ingram Street, now under the care of Strathclyde University, and the 1902 Gaiety in Ayr have been taken off the list.
The Gaiety is being funded by the Scottish Government and South Ayrshire Council to undertake an initial programme of work and reopen later this year.
However, the future of the Britannia Panopticon and the Old Athenaeum are less secure.
The Theatre Trust says: "The Britannia is of outstanding importance as the only early supper room-style music hall now surviving in Scotland. But the building is of such rarity and interest in a national context that a full investigation needs to be undertaken prior to a full restoration for some form of public use.
"Although not open to the public on a daily basis, a programme of events and shows allows the hall's long and varied history of performance to continue."
A team of volunteers, who are working towards restoring the auditorium, hold regular exhibitions, bazaars and traditional music hall shows to raise funds.
Judith Bowers, project founder at the Britannia, said: "Being on the at-risk register does not mean the building is falling down. It will stay on the register until it is fully restored, which will take another 10 years."
The cost of restoration is estimated at between £10-14million.
The Old Athenaeum was purpose-built to train drama students and its school of music developed into the Scottish National Academy of Music, later becoming the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama.
During the 1940s the theatre was home to the Citizens' Theatre Company, while the Scottish Youth Theatre used it from 1989 until 1998, when it was sold.
It was sold again in 2005, to a property developer, and has been the subject of several planning applications for conversion to retail use but is largely disused.