GFT's 50th Anniversary Screenings: What to See

The much-loved Glasgow Film Theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary with a wide-ranging programme of screenings, including double bills, modern classics, arthouse favourites, late-night cult movies and special 35mm and 70mm presentations

Article by Jamie Dunn | 03 Apr 2024

Glasgow Film Theatre opened on 2 May 1974 with a screening of Federico Fellini’s Roma, and five decades later the cinema is still going strong. GFT are pulling out all the stops to mark their 50th anniversary, with a month of special screenings that speak to the broad range of films the cinema has celebrated over the years and the eclectic taste of the audience that returns again and again to this beloved Glasgow institution.

The GFT’s role as the home of foreign-language cinema is very much at the heart of this celebration, with an array of arthouse milestones screening across May. “Looking back over 50 years of GFT programmes,” says Paul Gallager, GFT’s Programme Manager, “it became really clear to me that we had to major on brilliant European and non-English language films for this anniversary season, as this is what GFT has uniquely excelled at showcasing and bringing to Glasgow audiences over the years.”

Classics like Italy’s Cinema Paradiso (6 May), Germany’s The Lives of Others (9 May, 35mm), Hong Kong’s In the Mood for Love (11 & 15 May) and Brazil’s City of God (19 May) will all screen. There's also a rare double bill of Claude Berri’s French epics ​​Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources (5 May), two of the most popular films in GFT's history.

This season also marks the return of GFT’s great Late Night screenings. The new regular series begins 3 May with a doozy: John Carpenter’s cult fave Escape from New York. Another cult object coming to GFT in May is Tommy Wiseau’s gloriously awful The Room, which is back at GFT for a special 20th-anniversary screening on 30 May, featuring a post-film Q&A and signing event with actor Greg Sestero, who plays Mark (of "oh hi, Mark!" fame). Expect a riotous atmosphere, spoon-throwing (if you know, you know), and for this screening to sell out quickly. If hate watching isn’t your style, might we point you in the direction of a Calamity Jane sing-along, where you can sing your wee heart out along with the brilliant Doris Day (12 May). 

GFT is also the home of celluloid in Glasgow and they’ll be flexing the muscles of the cinema's 35mm and 70mm projectors throughout May. Martin Scorsese’s brilliant but underseen Kundun will be screening from a 35mm print (27 May) as part of the ongoing Scorsese of the Month season, which will be followed by a chat with the great film historian Ian Christie, who edited the essential Scorsese on Scorsese book. There’s also a chance to see the ‘unrestored’ 70mm print of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey on 18 May. Created by celluloid nut Christopher Nolan, the aim of the 70mm print is to let audiences to experience the film as it would have been seen in 1968.

2001 isn’t the only sci-fi on offer. There’s a double bill available for those who fancy seeing Solaris and Blade Runner: The Final Cut back-to-back on Sunday 26 May. There’s also some Hitchcock in the mix (Rear Window, 16 & 20 May), a recent Scottish favourite (Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun, 13 May), and in a nice bit of symmetry, the season kicks off with that film that opened the GFT 50 years ago: Roma (2 May), Fellini’s paean to the Italian capital.

“My hope is that this celebratory programme goes some way to capturing the essence of what makes watching a film at GFT so special,” says Gallager, “and we invite everyone to come and be a part of the anniversary celebrations and help us ensure GFT continues for many years to come.”

See you in the front row!

For full details and tickets for GFT's 50th Anniversary Season, head to