Green's Playhouse

Boswell Park,
Ayr, KA7 1NW

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: George Green Ltd.

Architects: John Fairweather

Styles: Art Deco, Neo-Classical

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Green's Playhouse, Ayr

Originally on this site was built in 1911 the Boswell Park Roller Skating Rink. In 1914 it was converted by George Green into the 2,000 seat Boswell Park Pavilion Cinema. Later known as the Boswell Park Picturedrome and the La Scala Cinema, it was demolished after World War I, and a new cinema named the Playhouse was built for George Green in 1923. It was designed by John Fairweather with a seating capacity of 1,700. Sound equipment had just been installed in the Playhouse in September 1929, when the building was destroyed by a fire which started at the stage end.

Architect John Fairweather was employed by George Green to build a new super cinema on the site. It occupied the same plot of land as the previous Playhouse but had a different frontage. The new Green’s Playhouse opened on 8th July 1931 and with 3,104 seats was the 2nd largest cinema to be built in Scotland and the 3rd largest cinema in the UK. Seating was provided for 1,738 in the stalls, 1,320 in the circle and boxes seating 46. The proscenium was 55 feet wide and the stage was 22 feet deep. There were four dressing rooms and the Playhouse was equipped with a cafĂ©.

The exterior of the building is 102 feet wide and has a central window over the entrance. Inside the auditorium, the decoration has columns along the side-walls and a large dome in the centre of the ceiling, very similar to other Green’s Playhouse Cinemas designed by John Fairweather.

Occasional live shows were held at the Playhouse, but some were not that successful, as when Frank Sinatra and the Billy Ternent Broadcasting Orchestra were booked for two performances on Sunday 12th July 1953 and only a total of 500 tickets were sold for the two shows!

Mecca Ltd. closed Green’s Playhouse as a cinema in the late-1960’s and was converted into a bingo club, which for many years has been operated by Mecca Ltd. The Mecca Bingo Club was closed on 26th February 2023.

On 29th March 1999, Historic Scotland designated Greeen’s Playhouse a Grade C(s) Listed building. This was up-graded to Grade B in June 2008.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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