Green's Playhouse

59-69 Kirk Road,
Wishaw, ML2 7BL

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Green’s Playhouse in Wishaw was the last of the George Green’s circuit of cinemas to be built, and special permission had been granted to enable its completion due to the war. It opened on 19th December 1940 with Jane Withers in "We’re in the Army Now" and Edmunde Lowe in "The Wolf of New York".

It was built immediately next door to the Cinema, a Gaumont operated cinema. Green’s Playhouse had an attractive facade in white stone with a large window feature. The facade was set back a little from the pavement and it contained the foyer which was 30 feet long. The auditorium was to the right of the entrance, parallel to Kirk Road. There was no decoration on the exterior wall, so it looked plain and bare, giving no indication of the wealth of detail inside the building. It did however have an unusual feature; a green and red tile roof

Inside the auditorium the huge seating capacity was divided into 1,714 seats in the stalls and 1,252 seats in the circle. There were massive fluted Corinthian columns on the side-walls and the ceiling dome had concealed lighting around the rim. A unique feature was the fluorescent carpet in the auditorium which gave a soft glow via a system of ‘black lights’, enabling patrons to walk about unaided while the main house lights were off. There was a cafe located above the entrance foyer which could seat 100, and was capable of being turned into a dance floor if needed.

Closed in the 1970’s due to vandalism and ever decreasing attendances, Green’s Playhouse became a Mecca Bingo Club, which remains in use today. The original cinema seats are retained in the circle, as is the cove lighting in the ceiling dome.

On 20th January 2004, Historic Scotland designated the former Green’s Playhouse a Grade C(s) Listed building.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 29, 2008 at 10:29 am

A January 2008 photograph of the former Green’s Playhouse (now Mecca Bingo Club) with the former Classic Cinema just beyond:
http://flickr.com/photos/elizmar/2154149747/
The entrance on the right and the former Classic Cinema in the centre:
http://flickr.com/photos/elizmar/2154147843/

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