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Licence to Occupy Signed with Buzzworks

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

We are delighted to formally announce that we have signed an official licence agreement with Buzzworks, and are now legal occupants of the Broadway Cinema!

This represents a huge step forward for the project. With Buzzworks' support, we have achieved a long-term goal and are now officially in the door, paving the way for the first stages of restoration work to start. We would like to thank Buzzworks for their immense support during this process and thank you, our members! We wouldn't exist if it weren't for your incredible enthusiasm, support and passion for the project that we all share. The future of the Broadway belongs to you!

Press Release:

The Broadway Cinema in Prestwick takes another step towards re-opening after support from Buzzworks:

The charity responsible for bringing back an iconic Prestwick cinema has been granted a licence to occupy the building after being supported by leading hospitality group, Buzzworks Holdings.

Friends of the Broadway Prestwick, the team behind the revival bid, signed a licence to occupy the Category C Listed building this week as it prepares to apply for community ownership of the venue. The licence paves the way for obtaining the funding needed to restore the Broadway in its entirety as an exciting neighbourhood cinema, local venue, and inclusive community space.

Kyle Macfarlane, one of the Directors of Friends of the Broadway Prestwick, said:

“For some time the community have been wondering what is happening to the Broadway, and we are delighted to announce that we are now at a stage where we can apply for community ownership, thanks to the wonderful support we have received from Buzzworks."

"The front entrance doors have been shut and boarded over for almost twenty years. They don’t just hide the amazing interior of the building, but also the hard work taking place behind the scenes to bring the Broadway back for the community. Signing a licence to occupy the building means we can reopen those doors.

This is a massive step forward for the future of the Broadway as our project enters its next chapter. We have been very fortunate to have Buzzworks’ backing in securing the licence to occupy the building, and this ultimately paves the way for our group to ensure this valuable piece of Prestwick’s heritage is restored to its former glory.”

On 29th April 1935, the Broadway opened its doors to audiences with a grand opening ceremony and the film “The Barretts of Wimpole Street". The building operated as a cinema until the mid-1960s when it began a slow transition to bingo, before seeing a brief revival of cinema in 1976. The last ever film, “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Next”, showed on 20th November that year. In 1983 the Broadway was converted into an amusement arcade and leisure facility with squash courts in the former auditorium. It operated until 2003 as Prestwick Leisure Centre. Buzzworks took over the venue in 2005, with plans to turn it into an exciting new hotel bar, restaurant and nightclub. However, after several years of hard work and dedication applying for permissions and licences to do so, the bid was ultimately unsuccessful due to the building type and various other factors.

Instead, Buzzworks were happy to ensure that there would still be a positive outcome for the building within the local community, by working alongside Friends of the Broadway to ensure the latest project came to fruition. A spokesperson for Buzzworks, which operates nearby venues Lido and Vic’s & The Vine in Prestwick, said:

“The Broadway is a unique survivor from the golden era of films, and we were more than happy to lend our support in helping to give back this institution to the local community. The former cinema is a well-loved asset with terrific potential, and we are proud to continue our support of this important project.”

Stuart Cairns, who is Chair of Friends of the Broadway Prestwick, talks about research performed by Regional Screen Scotland which shows that residents of towns and cities across the country put cinemas at the top of their wish list of leisure facilities they would like to have located in their area.

He commented:

“This moment has been long awaited. We are incredibly grateful to Colin Blair for working with us to help bring this community asset back. Having a licence to occupy means we can get to work caring for, maintaining, and preserving the Broadway Cinema. It also makes us eligible for the funding needed to purchase and restore the Broadway to its former glory for all the community to enjoy.”

“The neighbourhood cinema sector is growing. South Ayrshire is under-served by cinemas, and the evidence shows that audiences want something more local, more evocative, more inclusive, and more personal.”

“Friends of the Broadway Prestwick are working with other successful venues and have been inspired by their stories of sell out audiences and films having to come back by popular demand. Just as inspiring are the positive impacts on other local businesses, and the significant increases in retail footfall on Main Street. There is now a real chance of bringing these benefits to Prestwick.”

It truly has been a historic day in the history of the Broadway. We can't wait for the future to begin!

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