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- Category: B
- Date Added: 01/08/2002
- Local Authority: East Ayrshire
- Planning Authority: East Ayrshire
- Burgh: Kilmarnock
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 42823 37557
- Coordinates: 242823, 637557
Alexander Cullen, 1903; opened 1904. 3-storey, symmetrical 7-bay, Edwardian Baroque former theatre. Polished, red Ballochmyle sandstone ashlar; red brick sides and rear, harled in places; later red brick to rear elevation.
W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: former cinema entrance to bays 3 -5 with fascia for film names above; door with 2 smaller display windows to right; later ribbed fascia above; to right display window with paired doors to right. String course with paired square windows above to outer bays, moulded cornice above flanking long panelled apron panel with architraved sills above. To outer bays of 1st floor, long narrow window with projecting sill and shaped voussoirs terminating in pilastered cornice. To flanks, carved corbels with Prince of Wales feather detail supporting plinth; 1 ?-storey paired pilasters with masked capitals surmounting. Diocletian window to 2nd floor, aforementioned pilasters flanking. To 2nd and 7th bays, narrow window to 1st floor with projecting sill; to 2nd floor, now blind round window with ornately carved sill stone and 4 further carved stones resembling tail. To central 3 bay: 3 arched windows of piano nobile proportions; paired pilasters with angled corbels starting from springing-line, flanking central window; single similar pilasters to outer angle of bays. Moulded cornice running full length of central windows supporting 3 slightly advanced apron panels; paired pilasters flanking central window; single pilaster to outer angles. Projecting sill course to 2nd floor, matching columns supported by lower pilasters; 3 former windows now blind brick; later 3-bay lintel surmounting. To outer 2-bays at 3rd storey: canted 3-sided tower resting on architraved cornice with large stone vase to flanks, metal finials to roofline. Later flat-roofed, 3-bay in-fill adjoining outer bays.
N ELEVATION: to ground floor, adjoining much later 2-storey extension to adjacent building; blind, stepped brick, elevation with 4 stepped blind windows to upper storeys
E (REAR) ELEVATION: to left, 3-storey, 4-bay block: door to ground floor 2nd right, paired windows to left; to 1st floor: 3 regularly placed windows in bay 1-3, blind to 4th; to 2nd floor: 3 regularly placed windows in bay 1-3, longer window with metal roller shutter to 4th. To right, very high, wide blind stepped end, window and small window to extreme ground floor right.
S ELEVATION: end concealed by newly built retail and office building.
Narrow 12-pane timber fixed lights to outer bays of 1st floor, 12-pane windows adjacent with hinged 4-pane top hopper; multi-paned Diocletian windows to 2nd floor, former round, timber, multi-paned windows now blind. Fixed 6-pane timber windows flanking entrance Piended green / grey slate roof; piended roofs to tower with 3-sided canted tiled fronts. Metal ridging, flashing and valleys. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods, gutters concealed to front, down pipes located on rear elevation. Small harled stack to rear gable, no cans.
INTERIOR: theatre altered to form a 3-screen cinema in later 20th century; not in use, 2001.
Statement of Special Interest
Originally, this building was the King's Theatre, built during the reign of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Alexander Cullen of Brandon Street Chambers, Hamilton, designed the theatre. Later internal alterations were carried out, the most notable being a balcony construction designed by the Airdrie architect, Charles McNair. The theatre contained bars, exclusive boxes and lounges. It could hold around 2000 patrons for a show. The original owners staged many different forms of entertainment from opera, variety shows, to musical extravaganzas. There were also experimental trials showing "moving pictures", but the management was not sure if they would prove popular in the long run. The original proprietors went out of business after only 4 years. After changing hands many times, the theatre became a cinema in 1937. The interior was destroyed by fire in 1975 and the cinema closed in 1999. Although altered, the building retains its fine Edwardian Baroque frontage to Titchfield Street.
Notes and references updated as part of Cinema Thematic Study 2007-08.
Kilmarnock Dean of Guild Plans: Case 1000 - 1100, Plan 1066 a & b: PROPOSED NEW THEATRE, TITCHFIELD STREET, KILMARNOCK and PROPOSED INTERIOR PLANS, NEW THATRE, TITCHFIELD STREET (1903, Alex Cullen, Brandon Street Chambers, Hamilton). Dean of Guild Plans: Case 2000 -2100, in-numbered plan: DETAILS OF BALCONY CONSTRUCTION, KINGS THEATRE (circa 1926, Charles McNair, Airdrie). 3rd Edition, 25"/mile ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP (1910) showing King's Theatre. Rob Close, AYRSHIRE & ARRAN - AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1992) pp113-114. Frank Beattie, GREETINGS FROM KILMARNOCK (1994) p44. Frank Beattie, STREETS & NEUKS - OLD KILMARNOCK (2000) p72. Other information courtesy of Cinema Theatre Association Scotland, www.scottishcinemas.org.uk (accessed 31-12-07).
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