Situated on the corner of London Road and Orr Street at Bridgeton Cross, the Olympia Theatre opened in September 1911 and provided over 2,000 seats for the audiences to enjoy a variety of acts and performers. […] Following the Great War the [building’s] focus [shifted] to become a full time cinema in 1924. […] For many decades the theatre played a significant social and cultural role in Glasgow’s East End until it closed in March 1974. […] Following a period of disuse, the building was converted to a Bingo Club and later a furniture store, where it was occupied up until the late 1990s. […] Responding to the demands of local residents, Clyde Gateway bought the building in 2009 for almost £2m with the support of the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Heritage Fund. […] The Olympia reopens to the public in 2012 when the ground floor provides a public library and learning centre with a café.
(‘The History of the Olympia’, Olympia Website, Accessed 23rd Feb 2016)
It was in this very building that my research for my food archeology project began. I am, of course, referring to my involvement in the social enterprise organisation The East Ate (or TEA, for short). The Olympia library is home to the first ever British Film Institute Mediatheque in Scotland. The mediatheque itself is an excellent resource - a place where I could easily spend hours, days even, exploring the archive. Myself and Natalia went with the aim of finding some films which link to the Glasgow area, more specifically Bridgeton and Calton and also to food and eating. We spent a couple of hours searching, watching and taking notes from the following films:
- The Vanishing Street (1962).
- The Good Housewife “In Her Kitchen” (1949)
- Just Another Saturday (1975)
- Ratcatcher (1999)
- Nine, Dalmuir West (1962)
- Pakistani People in Scotland (1960) - see film still image on this page.
We are hoping to perhaps use some of this footage in our workshops, perhaps screening the films. But for now, watching the footage and discussing it was an exciting first step into research.