The charity responsible for bringing back an iconic Prestwick cinema has been granted funding to purchase the building after a successful bid to the Scottish Land Fund. 

The Broadway originally opened its glazed Art Deco doors on April 29, 1935, just as cinema was thriving as one of the prime forms of entertainment. After nearly 20 years of being closed, the Friends of Broadway is working to redevelop the building as a multi-purpose entertainment venue after nearly 20 years of being closed.

“Bringing back the Broadway started as a dream held by a committed group of Prestwick residents," said Guy Walker, chairman of Friends of Broadway. "Today that dream came true.

READ MORE: The Broadway cinema in Prestwick takes key step towards re-opening

"The building will be owned by the community, and we are ‘bringing the Broadway back’ for everyone who said they would love to see films here again. Over the years people have asked us what’s happening with the building, and expressed their wish for something for young and older people to do in the town - well this is our Christmas present to you!”. 

The Scottish Land Fund has awarded Friends of the Broadway the majority of the purchase price, with building owner Buzzworks Group contributing a significant six-figure discount to enable it to pass into community ownership. The Ayrshire hospitality group has backed the charity throughout its campaign to revive the venue.

“We are proud to support Friends of the Broadway and hope this further significant financial contribution will allow the group to continue its vital work in preserving this historic building, while creating an amenity for the community of Prestwick to enjoy for years to come," Buzzworks chairman Colin Blair said.

In addition to the purchase price, the Scottish Land Fund has also awarded £50,000 for immediate essential maintenance and further funding to hire a project development officer to drive forward the next phases of renovation.

The Herald: The cinema in its former gloryThe cinema in its former glory (Image: NQ Archive)

Built in 1935, the Broadway Cinema originally seated more than 1,000 people, and large parts of the building remain unchanged. The last film was shown in 1976, and after that the building was put to many uses, including a leisure centre, amusement arcade, and squash courts.

Friends of the Broadway intend to restore the historic building to its original purpose in partnership with architects Burrell Foley Fischer, who specialise in heritage cinema and theatre design. The original art deco features of the cinema will be honoured, with new additional features to ensure it is "accessible and convenient for modern-day visitors".