Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre to remain closed for two months following fire

The blaze that occurred very close to Glasgow's Pavilion Theatre six months ago. Credit: Police Scotland The blaze that occurred very close to Glasgow's Pavilion Theatre six months ago. Credit: Police Scotland
by -

The Pavilion Theatre in Glasgow is to remained closed for at least two months following a fire, with management hailing it the venue’s “saddest day” since flooding in 1992.

Staff at the 114-year-old venue are being denied access by the city council for an estimated two months until “dangerous” neighbouring buildings damaged in the blaze have been demolished.

The fire broke out on March 22, devastating a nearby nightclub. More than 120 firefighters battled to stop the flames spreading to the theatre.

Glasgow City Council has now cordoned off the area to allow demolition of buildings that cannot be saved, including the nightclub.

However the Pavilion Theatre’s manager Iain Gordon has argued that denying staff access to the theatre will cause further damage to the interior from smoke and dust.

He said: “It is a bit frustrating, the building needs to be looked after and protected. If you let us in, we can cover the seats, assess the fire damage and get contractors ready. It’s like hitting your head on a brick wall at times.”

Gordon said he had been allowed into the building for a short time to collect computers, and that it was “smelly and dusty” inside.

He added: “The fire brigade did a really good job. One of the officers said to our staff as they were being evacuated, ‘Don’t you worry – we’ll look after the place.’

“I think as the Pavilion is an old variety theatre, everyone has been to it at some point, so there is a real love for it here and there has been a lot of support on social media.”

The theatre is relocating its computers and telephones to its city centre rehearsal space, and trying to relocate future shows. One performance scheduled for April 3 – The Rumours of Fleetwood Mac – has been relocated to the nearby council-owned Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

A statement posted online by the theatre said: “This is indeed the saddest day we have had since [a] flood in 1992. After waiting to hear all day, we have just been advised by Glasgow City Council Building Control that we will be denied access to the theatre for around two months.

“After that, we will then be allowed in to ascertain the damage caused by the fire. Only then will we be able to carry out any works required.”

The statement adds that management were “taken by surprise” and intend to seek advice from senior council members or even the Scottish government to gain access to the theatre.

A council spokesman said the decision was made “in the interest of public safety”.

He said: “Roads and pathways around the site will be closed for a considerable time – a likely estimate is two months for some of them – to allow demolition, and more detailed information will be made available as soon as possible throughout the process.

“We have met with the owners of all the buildings affected by the fire, and will maintain this dialogue over the period.”

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.