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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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

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.

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Printed: 17/12/2018 05:39