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Prestwick, 80 Main Street, Broadway Cinema

Cinema (20th Century)

Site Name Prestwick, 80 Main Street, Broadway Cinema

Classification Cinema (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Amusement Arcade

Canmore ID 268036

Site Number NS32NE 110

NGR NS 35140 25863

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council South Ayrshire
  • Parish Monkton And Prestwick
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Kyle And Carrick
  • Former County Ayrshire

Architecture Notes

NS32NE 110 35140 25863

The former Broadway Cinema is situated on the W side of Main Street and S of Kyle Street Built between 1934 and 1935 with an Art Deco style entranceway and pitched roof auditorium to the rear.

The building was built for the Prestwick Cinema Company Ltd and opened in 1935. Following closure as a cinema it re-opened as a bingo hall in 1966.

Photographed by RCAHMS in 1999 when in use as an amusement arcade/leisure centre, by 2008 the building was disused.

Information from RCAHMS (DE), July 2008

Site Management (14 July 2004)

Former cinema which makes a positive contribution to the streetscape of the main thoroughfare in Prestwick. It is built to a bold Art Deco design with a strong horizontal emphasis balanced by the height of the central recessed block. The 1st floor of the building is stepped up and back from the street line so that it could be flood-lit.

The design is similar to the Playhouse cinema in Perth that was built a year earlier by the architect A Cattanach and also has curved side wings, a tall recessed central block, and shops flanking the entrance. The shop fronts at the Broadway are a particularly good survival, especially No 78 which appears to be complete; the other shops (numbers 76,82 and 84) all retain some original (or near-contemporary) glazing. The entrance doors to the cinema also retain their original Art Deco glazing.

The rather stark appearance of the cinema at present (2004) belies its original glamorous design. The base course and window band are built of red brick that would not have originally been painted, and the central block originally had three further windows above the existing three.

A contemporary report, quoted by Rob Close in his letter to 'Picture House' describes the cinema as: 'Built partly of synthetic stone of local construction and bright bricks, [it] presents a mild red and white appearance which is eye-taking without being blatant'. The cinema opened in 1935 and was built for the Prestwick Cinema Company Ltd. It became a bingo hall in 1966.

The architect, Alister Gladstone MacDonald, specialised in cinema design, and had offices in both London and Edinburgh. He built a number of cinemas in Scotland, but his most innovative designs were for the 'Newsreel Cinemas' at Waterloo and Victoria stations in London. He was the eldest son of the first Labour Prime Minister, James Ramsay MacDonald. (Historic Scotland)


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