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The Minerva Hall, 28 Argyle Street, Glasgow

Later - The Polytechnic Institution / The Vaudeville Picture House

Glasgow Index

A Bill for 'Facts and Fancies' at the Minerva Hall, Glasgow, with Horatio Lloyd and his sons Frederick and Arthur Lloyd. The Minerva Hall, also known as the Minerva Music Hall or the Minerva Rooms, opened in September 1856 at 28 Argyle Street on the north side of the street looking over to Dunlop Street and its Theatre Royal and David Brown's first Philharmonic Hall. The building had been the shop of Wylie & Lochhead, furnishers and cabinetmakers who now moved to Buchanan Street where its palatial, galleried departmental store continues as part of the House of Fraser.

During 1857 the Minerva became known as the Polytechnic Institution, presumably because the new Glasgow Polytechnic Association, chaired by Walter Crum, and managed by Professor James Wylde, were now the largest tenants.

The Hall, complete with gallery, was used for concerts, entertainments, exhibitions and public meetings including gatherings of trades, including the cobblers, campaigning to form trade unions. In its short duration it was leased from time to time by Morrison Kyle, music publisher, who presented music hall entertainment, notably the Lloyd family.

Right - A Bill for 'Facts and Fancies' at the Minerva Hall, Glasgow, with Horatio Lloyd and his sons Frederick and Arthur Lloyd. Horatio Lloyd writes about "Facts and Fancies" here.

His presentations of the Lloyd family were:- "Every Evening at Eight o'Clock. Reserved seats 2s, Body of hall 1s, Gallery 6d, Half price reserved seats only, at Nine o'clock. Tickets to be had of Morrison Kyle, Music Publisher, 108 Queen Street; and of Messrs Sturrock & Sons, Perfumers, Buchanan Street."

The building included a number of businesses including on the top floor artist James Eadie, one of the city's pioneering photographers, and during 1857 also became the home of the Polytechnic Association whose lecture rooms, museum and exhibition space included the original engines of the PS Comet, and a clock made for Mary, Queen of Scots.

Fire broke out in September 1857, destroying the building. A new building, in 1866, in Argyle Street did become the new Polytechnic Institution complete with concerts and organ music.

Morrison Kyle, while leasing the Hall also started a lease of the Exchange Rooms in Paisley - with his artistes performing in each in sequence - becoming its proprietor and converting it to become the Theatre Royal. He also leased other Theatres around Scotland for seasons, including the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Hope Street, Glasgow.

In the fullness of time 28 Argyle Street housed, from the early years of the 20th century, the Vaudeville Picture House.

The above article was kindly written for this site by Graeme Smith in July 2018.

If you have any more information or Images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

Horatio Lloyd was billed at the Minerva Hall for Christmas week 1856 in a presentation called "Jack in the Box, or Catch the Ten":- "Mr Lloyd, late of the Theatres Royal, Edinburgh and Glasgow, has now the pleasure of announcing his New Entertainment on his retirement from the Stage... Jack in the Box, or Catch the Ten... Mr Lloyd will be assisted by Mr. Frederick Lloyd, late Principal Comedian of the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, and who was received here, two years ago, with so much kindness and approbation... Messrs Wylie and Lochhead's splendid new building, Minerva Hall, 28 Argyle Street."

Arthur Lloyd is known to have performed at the Minerva Hall in 1856, see what is probably his first review, here. Also see the Lloyd / King family Theatrical Posters here.

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