Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NS 58407 65944
258407, 665944


1875 origins as entertainment venue, largely rebuit Neil C Duff, 1927 as Waldorf Palais Dance hall and converted C J McNair, 1929 to cinema. Early 21st century converted to bar and music venue. 3-storey 8-bay (left bay added early 21st century) classical building with round-arched arcaded top storey and dominant full height Classical Modern entrance by McNair. Painted smooth render. Cornice divides 1st and 2nd storey. Angle pilasters.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: off-centre slightly advanced entrance with full-height opening; flanking pilasters with flagpoles break wallhead. Cornice surmounted by anthemion motif. 6 small square-plan openings above and long slender openings to pilasters now blocked. Recessed entrance with 3 pairs of non-traditional 2-leaf timber doors. Large glazed area above now blocked. Shop and bar premises flank ground floor entrance.

Non-traditional glazing to shopfronts and bar. Multi-pane glazing with mullions to 1st floor. Mullioned and transomed timber multi-pane windows to top storey. Complex multi-pitch roof, semicircular to W with corrugated metal covering.

INTERIOR: comprehensively remodelled early 21st century. Coloured terrazzo starburst floor to entrance foyer. Black and white terrazzo floor to upper landing. Exposed curved steel roof structure to principal venue space.

Statement of Special Interest

The ABC has a complex history however its various changes have resulted in a striking and unusual streetscape elevation which is an important feature of one of Glasgow's principal streets. The imposing full-height entrance, designed by C J McNair, one of Scotland's celebrated cinema architects, is typical of cinema design and was purposefully designed to advertise its presence and draw patrons into the building.

The Scottish Cinemas website details the history of the building as follows. Built in 1875 as the Diorama it became the Panorama in 1878 and Hubner's Ice Skating Palace in 1885. It hosted Glasgow's first public film showing in May 1896. Hengler's Circus operated from the building from 1904 to 1927 when it was rebuilt as the Waldorf Palais dance hall. The arcaded top storey windows date from this period. McNair was responsible for the building's conversion to a cinema in 1929 and added the dramatic entrance at this time. The cinema underwent various alterations and it closed on 14 October 1999 before later reopening as a music venue which included adding a further bay to the left of the principal elevation.

Bruce Peter's Scotland's Spendid Theatres further documents the building's different uses. An extract from the opening programme of the building's incarnation as a Hippodrome under Hengler's ownership notes that the architect for the building was James Miller.

It appears on the 1892-7 Ordnance Survey map as the 'National Panorama' and as a 'Circus' on the 1912 map before being described as a 'Picture Theatre' on the 1933-42 map.

The return elevation to Scott Street has some exposed brickwork detailing and part of an archway which dates from prior to the 1927 rebuild. Although the interior has been comprehensively remodelled the plan form of the staircases and accesses to the main auditorium remain from the 1929 conversion to a cinema.

Listed as part of the Theatres Thematic Study 2010.



Ordnance Survey Maps (1892-7; 1908-11; 1933-42). Williamson et al, The Buildings of Scotland ' Glasgow (1990) p242; Bruce Peter Scotland's Splendid Theatres (1999) pp134-137. [accessed 16 April 2009].

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to 304-332 (EVEN NOS) SAUCHIEHALL STREET, FORMER ABC REGAL CINEMA, THE O2

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 05/12/2023 04:40