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 59055 64253
259055, 664253


Auditorium: Campbell Douglas 1878, altered by A Skirving 1887 with decoration by Joseph Sharp. Proscenium decorated by T Lawrie, 1895. Exterior by James Sellars destroyed 1977, leaving rubble walls. Building Design Partnership 1989, façade and foyer addition. Further later additions. Important survival of auditorium with early stage machinery and operational paint frame (see Notes).

PRINCIPAL (GORBALS STREET) ELEVATION: 2-storey yellow and banded grey brick elevation forming part of wider office development wraps around south elevation. Central glazed entrance doors in gabled bay breaking eaves with flanking porthole windows. Central 3 bays with glazed canopy and 1st floor largely glazed. Overhanging eaves, slate roofs. Wide rubble gable of auditorium visible behind.

INTERIOR: 1989 foyer with pitched glazed roof contains 6 statues by John Mossman (see Notes). Further statuary from now-demolished adjacent Palace Theatre in foyer and bar. Auditorium with 2 horseshoe balconies with fine plasterwork supported by cast iron columns with decorative capitals. 2 elaborately decorated boxes flank the raked stage which has a simple pilastered proscenium. Understage area contains important early timber stage machinery. Backstage includes brick area containing rare operational paint frame with early machinery.

Statement of Special Interest

Although Sellars impressive classical façade was destroyed in 1977, the Citizens Theatre contains an important early auditorium of 1878 by Campbell Douglas along with the rare survival of timber understage machinery and a rare operational paint frame.

It was built as Her Majesty's Theatre but quickly changed its name to the Royal Princesses Theatre. It was located adjacent to the Palace Theatre which was demolished in 1977, although elephant's head carvings and goddess statues were rescued from the Palace's renowned interior, and are now located within the Citizens Theatre. Similarly, the Mossman statues which had been relocated from David Hamilton's Union Bank of 1841 in Ingram Street and incorporated into Sellars design on the parapet of the theatre were rescued when the façade was destroyed in 1977 and are now located in the foyer. They depict the four muses along with Burns and Shakespeare.

The interior decoration is by Joseph Sharp and was overhauled in 1883, by J F Edgar and C S Finlay, and in 1887 by Alexander Skirving, A Dunbar, and J Sharp, and the proscenium was decorated in 1895 by Thomas Lawrie.

The paint frame allows scene painters to scroll huge canvases up and down with ease to paint backcloths for sets and it would have once been a common feature in producing theatres. At the Citizens it remains in use to this day.

The Citizens Theatre Company was formed in 1943 and it was originally based at the Old Athenaeum Theatre in Buchanan Street (see separate listing). The Royal Princesses Theatre was leased in 1945 to the Citizens Theatre who renamed it and have since remained there.

References from previous list description: M Hay Glasgow's Theatres and Music Halls. A guide (1980) p108/9. Information by Courtesy of Buildings of Scotland Research Unit.

List description updated as part of the Theatres Thematic Study 2010.



2nd edition Ordnance Survey map (1892-7); Williamson et al, The Buildings of Scotland - Glasgow (1990) pp510-11. Bruce Peter Scotland's Splendid Theatres (1999) pp92-96. The Theatres Trust (accessed 16 March 2009); further information courtesy of The Citizens Theatre.

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.

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