Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
North Lanarkshire
Planning Authority
North Lanarkshire
Motherwell And Wishaw
NS 79757 55129
279757, 655129


John Fairweather, 1940. Large, 3-storey, 10-bay, rectangular-plan, plain Art Deco former cinema. Painted brick to SE (principal) and NE elevations; plain brick to NW and SW. Stepped eaves course. Advanced flat-roofed vestibule entrance (re-clad in modern material in late 20th century). Many original interior architectural details, fixtures and fittings, including a grand Corinthian-columned auditorium.

SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: wide, single storey, advanced vestibule entrance to left with ?MECCA? signage to centre; large 2-storey keystoned arch above, framing 3 closely set windows at 1st and 2nd floors; circular Art Deco motif above. Narrow bay to far left. 7 plain bays to right of entrance with recessed blank rectangular panels; recessed plain bay to far right.

NE (SIDE) ELEVATION: 9 bays, arranged 1-7-1. 7 plain bays to centre divided by brick pilaster strips. Outer bays recessed.

NW (REAR) ELEVATION: similar arrangement to principal elevation; irregular fenestration to far right (most of which are blocked).

SW (SIDE) ELEVATION: irregular fenestration; metal fire escapes.

Metal and timber windows. Pitched roof; brick stacks to SW.

INTERIOR: Imperial staircase to left of plan leading to auditorium (right of plan) and offices; Terrazo steps and landings to upper levels with Art Deco palm designs at landings; original light fixtures and signage. Auditorium: outstanding and enormous Classical/Art Deco theatre, unaltered except removal of stalls seating and new stair access to balcony from ground floor. Proscenium flanked by giant Ionic columns. Ventilator and sound grilles to either side with Art Deco fretwork between Corinthian pilasters and semi-circular drums to lower parts. Auditorium lined by Corinthian colonnade and pilastrade. Ionic pilastered aediculae to boxes. Flat ceiling with shallow recessed dome; cove ceiling beneath circle. Original scroll-decorated cast metal seating to balcony.

Statement of Special Interest

Listed primarily for its striking interior decoration, in particular the massive Conrinthian-columned auditorium. The fourth and last of the Green's 'super-cinemas', The Playhouse, Wishaw opened on Thursday 19 December 1940 with a seating capacity for 2,982 patrons. Green's Playhouses were among some of the largest and most impressive cinemas built in Europe during the height of the medium. Brothers Bert and Fred Green developed their cinema empire from their family's vast experience as travelling showmen and variety theatre owners. John Fairweather, house architect for Green's, designed Playhouses for Glasgow (1925-1929; demolished 1985), Dundee (1936; only the B-listed tower remains after a fire in 1995) and Ayr (1930; see separate listing). All four 'super-cinemas' displayed the elaborate Corinthian columned interior. Another notable building by Fairweather was the Edinburgh Playhouse (see separate listing), a theatre rather than a cinema, built for McGuire & Lumley. A cinema is no longer operated in Wishaw, but the building continues to be used as a bingo hall.




About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 05/12/2023 05:50