Green's Playhouse, Ayr, now occupied by Mecca Bingo. ©Mike
facade overlooking Boswell Park.
The Playhouse Theatre viewed
from the rear of Ayr Gaiety Theatre. ©Mike
Rear elevation of Playhouse Theatre viewed from Fullarton Street. ©Mike
Green's Playhouse, Ayr. ©Mike
The Playhouse, Ayr is the finest remaining complete example of a
classic John Fairweather "Green’s Playhouse".
Ayr Playhouse opened on 8th July 1931, a replacement for an earlier
Playhouse on the site, which had burnt down. At that time it was the
second largest cinema in the country.
Ayr’s Playhouse auditorium included a small central dome feature, a
series of large Corinthian columns running down the side walls with boxes
between them, and a square proscenium flanked by large pillars. The alterations
for bingo do not detract from the impressive scale and design of the
The Playhouse was listed Category C(s) in 1999, and in 2008 this was
upgraded to Category B.
It should be noted that the building history
on the Theatre Trust database differs from local records and the Historic
Scotland database which dates the current structure to 1930. The
information below is drawn from the Theatre Trust database and may be
subject to amendment.
Green’s Picturedrome of 1911 was a conversion from a roller
skating rink. The Picturedrome was converted to the original Playhouse in
1922 and destroyed by fire the following year.
The present building was erected in 1924. It became a bingo house
in 1965. Crude and dominating harled brick edifice typical of its
period of stylistic transition, incorporating elements of earlier
building. Symmetrical façe with large pediment concealing projection
box over central five bays and debased classical details. Three doors
with tall windows and fanlight above.
As with so many cine-variety venues, it is the interior which delights.
The foyers are solidly classical with weighty Ionic pilasters and white
marble floors and balustrading. The auditorium, which originally seated
3,104, has one enormous balcony. On either side, giant Ionic orders with
superimposed boxes soar triumphantly to the heavily beamed ceiling. The
wide stage now contains the no smoking section of bingo tables.
Boswell Park, Ayr
Dates of use: 1924 - 1965
Current state: Extant
Current use: Bingo
Capacities: Original: 3104, Later: 1951: 3116
1924 Design/Construction: John Fairweather - Architect
1911 Owner/Management: Green’s Picturedrome
1922 Owner/Management: George Green Ltd, proprietors
1970 Owner/Management: Mecca Ltd, proprietors.
Listings: Grade B
Proscenium width: 15.25m (52ft)
Building information based on the database of the Theatre
Trust and Scottish
For further information, please follow this LINK
The 1931 Kinematograph Year Book reports The Playhouse at Boswell Park. owned by George
Green Ltd.. The venue is 'Rebuilding'.
The 1941 Kinematograph Year Book reports the Playhouse at Boswell Park owned by George
Green, Ltd., Glasgow with 3,060 seats. Shows are continuous. The stage is 22 ft. deep with
four dressing rooms. Prices, 6d. to 2s.
Proscenium width, 52 ft. Cafe.
The 1947 Kinematograph Year Book reports the Play'house at Boswell Park owned by George
Green, Ltd., Glasgow with 3,117 seats. Shows are continuous daily from 2 p.m. . The stage is 22 ft. deep with
four dressing rooms. Prices, 1s. to 3s. 6d. Cafe.