The Glasgow Film Theatre, formerly known as the Cosmo Cinema, and Scotland's first prestigious ‘art-house’ cinema to open outside of London’s West End in 1939 is a well loved and treasured landmark within central Glasgow. Both the exterior & interior conveys an immediate sense of the heyday of cinema design, experience and the romance of the world of film. Following a successful invited competition win, The Glasgow Film Theatre appointed NORD Architecture to design & deliver a phased masterplan refurbishment to the B-Listed cinema building. Key to the 1st phase alteration works, alongside a newly refurbished & re-configured entrance threshold, was the introduction of Cinema 3 - a new ‘state of the art’ 60-seat digital film screening room replacing the existing café cosmo. Through careful excavation work in & around the existing fabric, a new ‘box in box’ construction and tiered seating arrangement allowed for an optimised screening layout with maximum viewing potential aiding a greater user experience.
NORD’s approach & strategy to the new cinema’s internal treatment was one to combine the demanding acoustic requirements with a rich architectural expression. A new timber acoustic ‘hood’ defines the room while crafted in a manner that adds a subtle, but rich, sense of decoration to the compact space while also making visual material reference to the former grandeur of the 1939 interiors. The new auditoria space now not only functions as a typical cinema film screening room but also is properly equipped for other demands and uses such as film director Q&A and lecture series modes. The new space provides a 'fit for purpose’ auditoria arrangement now allowing greater opportunities for the Glasgow Film Theatre to expand on their current external programme and becomes a permanent home to the Glasgow Youth Film Festival team.