Palace Theatre History
The site of the Palace Theatre was once part of a public bleaching green, hence the street name 'Green Street', and the site was subsequently a fish market before the decision was made to build a Corn Exchange in 1863. The building was converted to a theatre in 1903 and is now home to a 500 seat theatre, 900 seat concert hall, exhibition rooms and art halls.
The A-Listed building is one of James Ingram's finest designs in Kilmarnock and is one of the town’s most iconic landmarks. The red sandstone tower, The Albert Tower, rises to the height of 110 feet and has the Kilmarnock Arms sculpted on the front, surmounted by an overhanging wreath of fruit and flowers and a scroll bearing the words "The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof"
When the building opened in opened in September 1863, the lower storey contained shops and the upper storey held the Kilmarnock Library, Athenaeum and Reading-room. There were also two small offices used by the Burgh Registrar and Sanitary Inspector. The adjacent Butter Market had a spacious hall with seating for twelve hundred patrons.
The Palace Theatre underwent external refurbishment in 2011/2012 and a new LED lighting system was installed highlighting some of the beautiful features of the building’s architecture ensuring that this iconic building can be admired day or night.
The Palace Theatre celebrated its 150th anniversary in September 2013 and a whole host of shows, exhibitions and community theatre performances took place to celebrare the Theatre's landmark birthday.
For more information and anecdotes from the theatre's history, you can read the PDF found on this page.
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