Methodist Central Halls

Dating from c1924, this is one of  around a hundred such buildings that were built in urban areas across the UK by the Methodist Church in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. In contrast to other church buildings, they were built as places of entertainment as well as places of worship, with thousands packing in to these buildings to watch films , concerts and variety shows.

As keen supporters of the Temperance movement the Methodists wanted to provide alternatives to the pub on Saturday nights for the urban working population.  All the buildings were specifically designed not to look like churches and all had a row of shop fronts on the ground floor. These could be rented out to local businesses, thus providing an income to help with the upkeep of the building.

The Maryhill building closed in 1976 and local people formed an  action group  to preserve the building for community use.  Community Central Halls Trust was  formed and over the  next few decades the Trust carried out many repairs on the building, and brought it back in to full use.

Volunteers and staff in the building provided support to families of the Stockline victims in 2004 and the building was  the venue for the public inquiry into the tragedy,  receiving extra funding for refurbishment to accommodate that inquiry.

An interesting feature of the premises is an 1889 Lewis  organ,  which was donated to the Methodists by St John’s U.F. Church in George St after that church closed in 1923. T.C.  Lewis was one of the leading organ builders of the period, and also built the  Kelvingrove organ.

Today the building is  a lively hub, continuing to serve the community in the 21st century