LA SCALA, the Electreum, The Paramount, the ABC…

The names of Glasgow’s old cinemas trip off the tongues of Evening Times readers, who fondly remember the days of Saturday westerns, fleapits and paying to get in with glass jars.

Thanks for the Memories would love to hear your recollections of the city’s picture houses – perhaps you visited as a child, or went with your pals when you were a teenager, or maybe even worked there? Send them to or write to Ann Fotheringham, Herald and Times, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB.

Movies are on our minds this week, post-Oscars, with today’s dazzling crop of film-makers, actors and behind the scenes creatives basking in the glow of awards season. The latest Mitchell Curious event at the Mitchell Library also showcases movie magic, with a selection of books commemorating Tinsel Town’s finest.

Step back in time with some of the legendary stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood at the Mitchell Library on Wednesday (February 27), from 12.30pm until 1pm, and on Thursday (February 28), from 6.30pm until 7pm.

At our recent library drop-in events, and through our email and postbag, we have received many fond tales of movie-going in Glasgow.

Helen McKale used to go to the pictures in Dennistoun with her late sisters Mary and Betty.

The girls grew up in the area with their mother, who was a weaver, and father, who was a watchman.

“It was a great place to live – I remember the shops, the cinemas – we used to go down to the Three Ps (Parkhead Picture Palace) all the time,” smiles Helen.

“I remember when Roy Roger came to Glasgow with his wild west show. There’s a picture somewhere, of Mary and I standing in front of him on his horse outside the Central Hotel!”

Dominic Sweeney remembers a host of cinemas in and around Govanhill, where he grew up in the 1950s and 60s.

“This was a great place to live,” he says. “The shops were great, and you’d go to Curly’s for a pennyworth of broken biscuits, or get in to the Cinerama with some jam jar tops. There were so many picture houses around here – the Majestic, The Govanhill, the Calder….we went on Saturday mornings, to see whatever was on.”

Rena Lynch, nee Cain, grew up in Partick.

“We were big fans of the cinemas – the Tivoli, the Standard, the Western, the Rosevale and the Partick,” she says.

“Some were grander than others – some were just fleapits. You used to say about those ones you’d go in wearing a jersey and come out with a jumper, because of the fleas!”

She smiles: “The Western always showed cowboy movies, of course. And if you weren’t going to the cinema, you’d go to F&F’s or the Partick Burgh Halls for the dancing.”

Isa Brady and her sister Lily and friend Liz loved the Olympia in Bridgeton.

“We tried three times to get into the Paul Newman picture Somebody Up There Likes Me, and eventually we went really early one Saturday morning in the freezing fog, to make sure,” smiles Isa, now 86.

“My granny came down with a flask of soup and some bread so that helped to heat us up - and a few lucky others in the queue got some too.”

Alice Maxwell got in touch to tell us about her lovely memories of the Olympia, too.

“Our bedroom windows looked right on to Bridgeton Cross, so we had a fine view of the ‘Umbrella’ – the old band stand – and the Olympia cinema," she says.

“Every Monday, we’d look out to see what picture would be shown for that week and some of our neighbours in the tenement, whose windows only faced on to the back court, would come to our door to ask us too.”

Originally a theatre, The Olympia became a full time cinema in the 1920s. It was one of many cinemas in Bridgeton in the 1950s, as Alice recalls.

“There was the Kings; the Arcadia; the wee Royal – nicknamed the wee Danny Doyle, and the wee Geggie,” she laughs.

“Oh yes, there were plenty to choose from – we were never stuck for a night out at the pictures."

She adds: "There was a kiosk where a lady stood selling sweets, cigarettes, chocolates and so on, but we had always bought our sweeties already, probably out of Birrell’s or the Cafe Continental on James Street.

“When we found our seats, we’d settle back into the big, velvet cushions and gaze up at the gorgeous curtains that hung in front of the screen.

“They were long and rich gold and always reminded me of those ladies’ crinoline dresses from the olden days…”

We would love to hear more of your Glasgow memories – where did you grow up? Where did you work? What are your favourite memories of your old neighbourhood? Can you remember the old theatres, dance halls and shops? Which ones stick in your mind?

Through our regular library drop-in events, which have now taken place all over the city, and our letters page and email postbag, we are compiling a fantastic archive of stories and pictures, all dedicated to the city we love.

Please write to Ann Fotheringham, Evening Times, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB or email with your stories and photos. Don’t forget to include a contact email address or telephone number.