Theatre Royal Glasgow

Theatre Royal Glasgow has been in operation since 1867. While the theatre had been rebuilt twice in the 1800s, it still stands on what is now Hope Street in Glasgow, Scotland. Filled with history, this theatre is a must-see when traveling through the city.

Theatre Royal Glasgow

The History of Theatre Royal Glasgow

First opening as the Royal Colosseum and Opera house in 1867, the theatre has since changed names. Original owner James Baylis ran the theatre for just 4 years. In 1869, the theatre, still owned by James at the time, went on to be leased to Glover & Francis. At this time, the Theatre Royal name would be seen.

A fire would cause the building to be left in disarray in 1879. At this time, the auditorium was fully destroyed. Upon rebuilding, the theatre took on the French Renaissance design which is still in place today. The rebuild also saw a third gallery added as well as a change in the front door to face Hope Street. The architect that directed the rebuilding was Charles J. Phipps.

The theatre would change hands in 1877 and 1888 before being sold to Howard & Wyndham in 1895. The duo added plays, summer shows and even opera into the theatre’s lineup of shows. This proved to be a very big success with the group owning the theatre until 1957.

Ironically, the theatre succumbed to another fire in 1895 that saw the auditorium destroyed. Luckily, Phipps was commissioned again to oversee the rebuilding process. Phipps ensured that there were very little differences seen during the rebuild to keep the same French Renaissance design that the theatre was famous for.

The duo sold the theatre to Scottish Television in 1957. Scottish Television brought live performances from the theatre right to the televisions of viewers all around Scotland. At this time, music, dance and comedy were the big draws.

The current owners, the Scottish Opera, purchased the building in 1974 and still own it today. Immediately upon purchase, a major rebuild took place that would bring the building back to its former glory. The rebuild comprised of the following:

  • An enlarged foyer.
  • A new main staircase.
  • Room for a 100 person orchestra.
  • Dressing room modernization.
  • The auditorium was brought back to its original look.

The refurbishment proved to be a major success with Die Fledermaus being shown in October of 1975 during the theatre’s reopening.

The theatre would become home to the Scottish Ballet and the Scottish Theatre Company. In 1977, the theatre was classified as a category A for is historic performances.

Refurbishments took place again in 1997 and brought rewiring and decoration improvements to the theatre. In 2005, the building was leased to the Ambassador Theatre Group.

Seat Capacity and Arrangement

There is a four tier seating arrangement seen. Guests can choose to sit on the following tiers:

  • Gallery
  • Upper Circle
  • Dress Circle
  • Stalls

There is room for a maximum capacity of 1,541.

Purchasing Recommendations

The theatre wants to ensure that all patrons are accommodated appropriately. When purchasing tickets at the door, the following is to be remembered:

  • Ticket sales are for that day only.
  • Arrive 90 minutes before the show to buy tickets.

Guests are reminded to show up 45 minutes before the show begins. This will allow for the shortest queue lines and will allow guests to get situated before the curtain rises.

Ambassador Lounge

The Ambassador Lounge allows all guests to enjoy a VIP moment. Prices range from 5 – 45 pounds, depending on the package chosen. Guests can purchase a lounge package prior to the show. The packages, divided into labels, include a wide variety of drinks, nibbles, chocolates and other benefits.

If you choose to visit the lounge, keep in mind that the Green Label must be pre-booked. Arrive early to enjoy a drink before your big show.

Getting to the Theatre

Located at 282 Hope Street, patrons will be able to get to the theatre by using the following methods:


Trains run through to Queen Street. These trains are just a few minutes, by foot, from the show. The Central station is the ideal choice and is located very close to the theatre’s main door.


Buses that arrive at Buchanan Bus Station are very close to the theatre. Simply go to Killermont Street, and turn right on Hope Street. The Theatre Royal will be directly on your right.


You can take a coach that will drop you off right in front of the theatre.

Shows run all year long with everything from Dangerous Corner to Top Hat playing. The theatre recommends that you book tickets early to ensure that you are able to snag a ticket with good seating. Handicap accommodations are easily made. Just call the venue ahead of time if you have any questions or concerns regarding handicap issues.

You can find the address here, get contact details here and take a look at the seating plan here.