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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: B
  • Date Added: 29/03/1999
  • Supplementary Information Updated: 06/06/2008


  • Local Authority: South Ayrshire
  • Planning Authority: South Ayrshire
  • Burgh: Ayr

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NS 33592 21864
  • Coordinates: 233592, 621864


John Fairweather (of Glasgow), 1930. 9-bay, rectangular-plan Inter-war Classical/Art Deco former cinema now bingo hall (2007). Painted harl. Deep base course; fluted frieze.

NE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: pilastered central entrance; 3 pairs of modern recessed doors; brackets and cornice to fascia; 3-light window above; pilasters divide bays; frieze; cornice; fanlight. Entrances at ground to advanced bays to outer left and right with corniced, square-headed doorpieces and 2-leaf timber doors. Single windows aligned above at 1st floor with raised margins and stepped block pediments with square cross motifs within. Regular fenestration at ground and 1st floor to remaining bays (partly infilled at ground floor); corniced ground floor windows.

Predominantly infilled glazing; original glazing remains to central entrance bay. Corrugated-iron roof (flat in part); square coped stacks.

INTERIOR: impressive, good quality, largely extant original decorative scheme. Entrance staircase with marble balusters and banisters. Main auditorium with semi-circular boxes to side walls and with Corinthian columns separating boxes and framing stage. Curved balcony with original velvet-padded, tipping seats. Some original glazed timber doors. Glazed brick and timberwork to offices; stained glass stairwell windows; original friezes and cornices throughout.

Statement of Special Interest

This is a well-detailed former cinema with a distinctive entrance elevation to Boswell Park. It is the earliest remaining example of one of Fairweather's 'super-cinemas' (see below) for the Green chain. The central entrance door with its large fanlight above is a particularly notable feature in the streetscape. The building is a prominent landmark, and retains many of its original interior architectural features. The auditorium in particular has fine original decoration, including characteristic large Corinthian columns separating the boxes to each side wall.

The second of Green's 'super-cinemas' in Scotland, the Green's playhouses were amongst the largest and most impressive cinemas built in Europe during the height of the cinema building period. Brothers Bert and Fred Green developed their cinema empire from their family's vast experience as travelling showmen and variety theatre owners.

John Fairweather (1867-1942) was born in Glasgow and specialised in designing cinemas in Scotland. He was the house architect for the Green family. He designed Playhouses for Glasgow (1925-29; demolished 1985), Dundee (1936; only the tower remains after a fire in 1995; see separate listing) and Wishaw (1940; see separate listing). All four 'super-cinemas' displayed the elaborate Corinthian-columned interior.

The building was opened as Green's Playhouse in July 1931, and was a replacement for an earlier building which had burnt down. It was designed to accommodate 3,116 seats and was described by the AYRSHIRE POST at its opening as "Ayr's new super-cinema" and "the second largest cinema in Scotland".

Currently in use as a bingo hall (2007).

List description updated and category changed from C(S) to B as part of the Cinema Thematic Study 2007-08.



Ordnance Survey map, 1938. AYRSHIRE POST (2/5/1930); Dane Love PICTORIAL HISTORY OF AYR (1995), p23. Other information courtesy of Cinema Theatre Association (2007).

About Designations

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 statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. 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.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned 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. For information about curtilage see 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 is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 22/10/2016 22:26