Biography of 'SINGLETON, George'

Cinema proprietor and exhibitor

Born: 1900, Glasgow
Died: 1995, Edinburgh

Known by many as "Mr. Cosmo", George Singleton was one of the foremost film exhibitors in Scotland, the son of Richard Singleton, a pioneer exhibitor who in 1910 bought an old Masonic Hall at Burnbank, Hamilton to show films. It was here that the young George first became interested in cinema, taking great pride in the fact that he could do just about any job there, from selling sweets and taking tickets to playing the piano accompaniment for the silent films.

He entered the cinema business in 1920 when he and a partner purchased a former United Free Church in the Gorbals district of Glasgow. They converted it into the Paragon cinema, the first of what was to become a Scotland-wide circuit. In 1937 the Singleton circuit of cinemas was sold to Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Group. Singleton, who preferred to work without partners now set about building a new chain of Vogue cinemas entirely under his own direction. He had a keen interest in specialist and foreign films and impressed by the specialist Academy Curzon Cinemas in London he became convinced that Glasgow could sustain an arthouse of its own.

The city centre Cosmo opened in 1939 and it’s success led Singleton to open a second arthouse, Cosmo 2 in Aberdeen in 1964. Singleton played an active role in the industry in general. In 1957 he became the UK President of the Cinema Exhibitors Association and between 1965 and 1967 he was a member of the Lloyd Committee, which led to the establishment of the National Film School. For his services to cinema he was awarded a CBE in 1967, before retiring in 1972.

Singleton’s retirement, however, did not mean an end to his association with cinema. He was an active member of the Scottish Film Council and the Films of Scotland Committee. He also became the Director of Scottish Repertory Cinemas Ltd. and of the Children’s Film Foundation, sat on the board of the Scottish National Orchestra and was one of the founders of Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre.

Researcher: Eamonn Butler

Films associated with 'COCOZZA, Enrico'

Asc Desc

Cinematograph Exhibitors Association CONFERENCE, GLENEAGLES [1790]

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Coverage of a CEA (Cinematograph Exhibitors Association) Conference at Gleneagles Hotel.





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Compilation of newsreels from the First (1947), Second (1948), and Thirteenth (1959) International Festival Of Music And Drama, Edinburgh.