Christmas has come early for the community in Prestwick, Ayrshire. A local charity, Friends of the Broadway Prestwick, has been awarded funding from the Scottish Land Fund to purchase the historic Broadway Cinema, allowing it to be brought into community ownership and enabling development work to progress.
Dating back to 1935, the Broadway Cinema is a surviving example of Scotland’s golden age of cinema. To this day, the Art Deco building retains some unusual and important features, including timber panelling in many areas, decorative stepped panelling to the auditorium, and a unique camel design on the air vents. The projection room also appears as a time capsule, with reels and equipment remaining in the same spot as when they were last used.
Images: The camel design on the air vents at the Broadway Cinema (left) and some old equipment in the projection room (right). Credit - Friends of the Broadway Prestwick.
The last film was shown at the cinema in 1976. The building was then used variously as an amusement arcade, squash courts and a leisure centre, before closing its doors for the last time in 2003.
Now, Friends of the Broadway Prestwick aim to bring the building back to life and restore it to its original purpose as a cinema, multi-purpose entertainment venue, and inclusive space that will benefit the whole community.
The Architectural Heritage Fund is very pleased to have supported this project since 2018, awarding Friends of the Broadway Prestwick two Historic Environment Scotland-supported Project Viability Grants in 2018 and 2021, as well as a William Grant Foundation Tailored Support Fund grant in 2023 towards emergency roof repairs.
With support from the Scottish Land Fund now secured, the Broadway Cinema can be brought into community ownership. Further, thanks to additional funding for a Project Development Officer, the next phase of planning and development can also begin, bringing the project to restore this iconic building one step closer to reality.
To find out more, please visit: Home | Friends Of The Broadway Prestwick | Prestwick