Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
South Ayrshire
Planning Authority
South Ayrshire
NS 33715 21763
233715, 621763


J McHardy Young, 1902 with later work following fires in 1903 and 1955. 3-bay theatre with modern addition to outer left. Cream tile work and painted harl. Base course; cornice to tile work; cornice (to bay to left), cornice and parapet to central bay and bay to right.

SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: central projecting bay rises to stepped block-pediment; 2-pairs of glazed doors at ground floor; 2 single windows flanking illuminated oriel advertisement; cornice; stepped block-pediment rises through roofline. Bipartite windows to all floors to right of bay to left, additional windows to left at ground and 1st floor; large modern addition to outer left (see Notes). Small openings to left to bay to right at ground, 1st and 2nd floors, additional windows to right at 2nd and 3rd floors; fascias to right at ground and 1st floor.

Predominantly timber sash and case windows. Roof (unseen 1998).

INTERIOR: Rococo interior rebuilt by Alex Cullen, Lochhead and Brown in 1903-4 after fire; further alterations after 1955 fire. Pilastered bowed boxes; broken segmental pediments; cartouches within. Elaborate fascias; latticework; cartouches flanked by figures and foliage work.

Statement of Special Interest

The Gaiety Theatre replaced the Caledonian Theatre, which opened in a wooden building in Carrick Street in 1895. The Gaiety Theatre, as noted by The Builder, was partially burned on 4th August 1903 and the building reconstructed, including heightening by 11ft. The building was rebuilt again following another fire on 2 August 1955. The extensive modern addition to the left was opened in 1995. Alongside its distinctive 1930s exterior, (the cream tile work replaced the original brick exterior) the theatre is especially notable for its fine decorative Rococo interior.



Ordnance Survey map, 1896 (not evident), Ordnance Survey map, 1909 (evident); THE BUILDER 13/08/1904; THE THIRD STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND: AYRSHIRE (1951), p544; John Moore AYR GAIETY: THE THEATRE MADE FAMOUS BY THE POPPLEWELLS (1976); Rob Close AYRSHIRE AND ARRAN (1992), p18; R & J Kennedy OLD AYR (1992), p8; Dane Love PICTORIAL HISTORY OF AYR (1995), pp23, 94; NMRS Photographic Archive (A11342).

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 18/03/2019 21:35