World Facts

Which Is the World's Tallest Cinema?

Cineworld Glasgow Renfrew Street is the tallest cinema in the world.

Cineworld Glasgow Renfrew Street is the world's tallest cinema, standing at a height 203 feet. The cinema is located at 7 Renfrew Street in Glasgow, Scotland, which is in close proximity to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, the Buchanan Galleries, and the heavily trafficked Buchanan Bus Station. Cineworld Glasgow is also near Sauchiehall Street, which is a 1.5-mile long shopping area. Some individuals claim Cineworld Glasgow sits at the heart of the city, while others argue it is northeast of Glasgow's actual center point.

Facts About the Tallest Cinema

Although famous around the world for its height, the local population reacted negatively to the cinema's construction. Many Glasgow residents claimed the cinema was too tall for its surroundings, labeling it an eyesore for the city. The cinema is a steel frame building with one exterior wall made completely of glass, meaning that numerous escalators are visible from the street. These escalators have been arranged to create an “X” pattern, which is illuminated at night in a bright blue color. A Cineworld sign, which has a red and white design, sits on the top of the building. Some suggest the building represents a post-modernism architectural style, which critics say does not blend well with the surrounding and pre-existing architecture.

The cinema consists of 13 floors, six of which house a total of 18 movie screens. The cinemas has a combined seating capacity of 4,300 and three of the screens are considered relatively large by industry standards. Bars, restaurants, and nightclubs are spread across its other floors. Additionally, Cineworld Glasgow has an observatory area on its highest floor. In 2003, Cinema Glasgow was ranked as the busiest of all Cineworld locations in the United Kingdom, receiving a total of more than 1.8 million moviegoers.

History of the Tallest Cinema

The location of Cineworld Glasgow was previously the site of Green’s Playhouse from 1927 to 1973. Green's Playhouse was a public entertainment complex that included a cinema, tearooms, and a dance hall. In 1973, the building was acquired by the Glasgow Apollo, a music venue with a capacity of 3,500 patrons. The venue operated from September 1973 until it was forced to close in June 1985 due to structural deterioration. In September 1987, the Glasgow Apollo was demolished in order to create space for a new development. Construction of UGC Cinema, part of the French corporation that is the second largest cinema chain in Europe, began in 2000 and was completed and inaugurated in September of 2001. The building's design was heavily criticized prior to its inauguration. In 2005, Cineworld took over all UGC operations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including the Renfrew Street location.

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