GLASGOW’S high-profile concert and events venue, the St Andrew’s Hall, was destroyed in a blaze in late October 1962, but Glasgow Corporation moved quickly to find a temporary replacement. Within a fortnight it had bought, for £27,500, the former Gaiety cinema and adjoining property at Anderston Cross (right), and spent another £30,000 on modifications, including the installation of 300 new seats. The venue could accommodate more than 1,700 people.

As she opened the venue at the end of January, 1963, Lord Provost Jean Roberts said the cinema’s rehabilitation had been carried out in eight weeks: “Never in my time as a member of Glasgow Corporation has so much been done by so few in such a short time.”

She added that the building of a permanent replacement for the St Andrew’s Hall was now being given top priority. There was a possibility that the new hall would be developed on the site of the old one.

On the other hand, she continued, the corporation might set its sights on a cultural centre similar to New York’s Lincoln Centre, with a suite of halls, a large theatre, a restaurant, and car-parks.

In the meantime, the replacement venue would within days witness its first concert by the Scottish National Orchestra. It would also be made available to religious and political organisations and to amateur drama and opera groups.

The corporation’s library department had applied for the St Andrew’s site in order to extend the neighbouring Mitchell Library (the application was later successful).

As for the Gaiety itself, it was scheduled to be demolished in 1968 under redevelopment plans for Anderston Cross.