SURVIVORS of the Glen Cinema disaster have recalled the events of Paisley’s ‘Black Hogmanay’ on its 90th anniversary.

Robert Pope and Emily Brown were among more than 600 children at the Glen Cinema on New Year’s Eve, 1929, when a fun day out turned to tragedy.

Smoke from an overheating film canister caused panic during a children’s matinee and, with the main exit doors shut, a crush led to the deaths of 71 youngsters.

Emily, now 95, and 97-year-old Robert were among the lucky ones who escaped.

“I think my guardian angel watched out for me,” said Robert.

“I stayed in my seat and didn’t move. I don’t remember much else until later when a fireman was clearing the hall, he asked me what I was doing. I told him I was waiting for the picture to come back on and he told me to head home.”

The Gazette: How The Gazette reported the disaster at the time How The Gazette reported the disaster at the time

Like so many kids at the time, Emily and Robert were sent out to the cinema on Hogmanay to allow their parents to get the house clean for the new year. They took their seats to watch the new cowboy movie Dude Desperado before disaster ensued.

Emily added: “I didn’t want to go that day. I was there with my sisters Jean and May. There was screaming and people were pushing you.”

The impact of the disaster was global, as the Cinematograph Act 1909 was amended to ensure all cinemas had more exits, doors opened outwards and were fitted with push bars.