Palace Theatre

9 Green Street,
Kilmarnock, KA1 3BN

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Palace Theatre

Located on the corner of London Road and Green Street, this was built in 1862/1863 as the Public Hall & Corn Exchange, with an Agricultural Hall. It opened on 16th September 1863. In 1903 it was converted into a music hall to the plans of an architect named Mr. Steel, with a fully equipped stage 25 feet deep, a 23 feet wide proscenium and 5 dressing rooms, and moving pictures were screened as part of the programme. By 1910, it was pictures and variety at the Palace Theatre. Seating was proved for 1,500.

The Palace Theatre was equipped with a British Acoustic(BA) sound system around 1930, and the seating capacity had been reduced to 620. Films continued into the World War II period.

In 1947 it went back to live theatre use as a civic theatre, and alterations were carried out in 1951, and it re-opened as the Exchange Theatre, but it was not a success, and soon closed. It reopened as the Palace Theatre under new management and in 1956 it was taken over by the Kilmarnoock Arts Guild.

The interior was modernised in the 1980’s following a serious fire and seating is now provided for 500. It re-opened with Billy Conolly appearing on 31st August 1985.

The Palace Theatre is a Grade A Listed building.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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