Posted in A to Z

X is for Durty Fillums

First of all, I hope you all appreciate the amount of research I had to do for this post. My poor innocent soul will never be the same again.

During the Bum-chicka-wow-wow heyday of the 1970s and 1980s, there were several porn cinemas in Glasgow.

Classic Grand CinemaThe one I am most familiar with – because my bus to work passed it every day, you dirty-minded lot – was the Classic Grand. The building started life as a warehouse for the Clyde before becoming a picture house (of the regular variety). In the 1950s it billed itself as an ‘Art’ cinema: in reality, it showed porn and extreme horror. This closed in the 60s before being resurrected as the Classic Grand in 1973. By the time it closed in the early 90s, it was known as the Curzon. I have heard that if you were to try to phone the cinema, the calls were redirected to the Cannon (it’s parent company) in Sauchiehall Street as the Classic’s staff – three old ladies and a janitor – were always too busy selling tissues and cleaning up (?!) to answer the phone.

Tatler CinemaThe Tatler in Sauchiehall Street first was a cinema called The Vitagraph in 1912. It was a long, narrow building with the auditorium only 8 seats wide. After various re-incarnations it became the Tatler Cinema Club in 1973 and showed unrated porn. In 1981 it became the Curzon and specialised in Scandanavian soft porn before closing in 1984. In 2004 Historic Scotland endowed Grade B Listed Building status on the cinema, now a bar and nightclub.

In 1994 Divally’s opened in Maxwell Street and still showed erotica until 2002, after becoming a lap dancing club.

I shudder to think at the traffic this blog post will get but, dear reader, I do it for you.



Writer, photographer, creative fantasist.

9 thoughts on “X is for Durty Fillums

  1. Oh that title made me howl. I can hear my mother saying it with the obligatory pursed lips and disapproving scowl. She got up to date in later life and referred to them as “mucky mooovies”.

  2. My MIL merely refused to believe they existed. She got a very rude awakening when my FIL returned from an overseas trip having bought her a very rushed present at the airport. She was terrified of planes so he bought her …….Fear of Flying. Apparently it was several weeks before she was able to speak again.

  3. Nettie – Oh, the sacrifices we make when we do research! Porno theatres are a part of a lot of places, so why not Glasgow too?

  4. Great stuff Nettie! There seems to be little written record of these adult cinemas in Glasgow, so I thought I would try fix this as part of a project I am doing on Glasgow’s cinema culture. If anyone has any memories of these places I would REALLY appreciate you emailing me (
    As Nettie said it is a very difficult thing to research. If I had some significant date I might be able to search the Herald archives (openings, closings?)
    Any help would be great!

  5. As a cinema, it originally seated around 625 in stalls and circle. Renamed the (King’s Cinema in 1914), and additional interior renovations were carried out in 1931. In (1954 it was the Newscine), a dedicated newsreel cinema, now seating 450. This venture was short lived, and it started showing full features again, as the (Newcine, from 1955). It became the (Curzon in 1960), and the (Classic in 1964).
    The building ended its days as a cinema in (1984 as the Tatler Cinema Club), since when it has been used as various bars and nightclubs.

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