finance

Historic Ayr Playhouse to be sold at auction ahead of 90th anniversary



The Playhouse in Ayr, one of the last surviving buildings by architect John Fairweather, is to be sold at auction – with a guide price of £375,000 – ahead of the 90th anniversary of its opening.

Originally established in 1911 as the Boswell Park Roller Skating Rink, it was converted by George Green in 1914 into a 2,000 seat Boswell Park Pavilion Cinema, which was demolished after World War I.

A new cinema named the Playhouse was built for George Green in 1923 by Fairweather – with a seating capacity of 1,700 – before being burnt down. He then designed The Ayr Playhouse which stands to this day.

It opened in July 1931 and with 3,104 seats was the third largest cinema to be built in Scotland. The only other cinema of this scale to survive in Scotland is Fairweather’s Edinburgh Playhouse.

The Category B heritable leisure investment on 4 Boswell Park is now occupied by Mecca Bingo on an extended lease until 2026.

The 35,187 sq ft building sits on a site area of 0.357 acres and produces a current annual rent of £166,498.

Mhairi Archibald of property auctioneers Acuitus commented: “Fairweather’s Playhouse designs are renowned across Scotland, so this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own one of the last remaining buildings.”

The property has been a bingo hall for the last 20 years, providing a reception area, gaming hall and ancillary and office accommodation over ground and first floors.

Positioned adjacent to Ayr bus station, other neighbouring occupiers include Cooperative Food and The West Kirk; a Wetherspoons public house.

The auction takes place on 16 June, broadcast online via Acuitus’ website.

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