The Rothesay Pavilion has always lain at the heart of the vibrant life of the island community of Bute. Since its 1938 opening as ‘Scotland’s Pleasure Palace’, the Pavilion has catered for the needs of the local community and generations of visitors, having served first as sumptuous grand ballroom and concert hall, then stylish wedding venue, impressive civic centre and inclusive sports arena. The building has hosted big band concerts and tea dances, community pantomimes, rock concerts, conferences, football tournaments, horticultural shows, birthday parties and political gatherings.

Eighty years of continuous and sustained use, coupled with the pounding of the elements courtesy of the enviable seafront location, have taken their toll on this iconic edifice. As a result, Rothesay Pavilion was placed on the ‘buildings at risk’ register in 2010. Shortly thereafter, the building’s owners – Argyll and Bute Council – launched a plan to rescue and revitalise the Pavilion, simultaneously kick-starting the regeneration of the island, designed to enhance and actively promote the island’s unique heritage and multiple tourist attractions to a worldwide audience.

Image credits: The images used throughout the timeline are selected from the Rothesay Pavilion Heritage Officer’s community archive and Wikipedia Commons.

TIMELINE

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In 1932, modern architecture was defined as “International Style” by the curators, Johnson and Hitchcock, of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Scottish architect and Modernist, James Andrew Carrick was just 24 years old when he designed the Pavilion. The Pavilion opened in 1938. The following year saw the outbreak of the Second World War.

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