Changing Entertainment

When talking of entertainment in days gone by one cannot help draw comparison with what is available today. With modern sophisticated tastes, entertainment which held us captivated in past years seems lacklustre and simple while sporting developments such as the windsurfer, jet-ski, and mountain bike enable greater than ever use of our increasing leisure time.

One highlight of the past, on a visit to Rothesay, was a trip around the bay in a small rowing or motor boat or up to the Kyles in the 'Gay Queen' and 'Maid of Bute.' Some ventured further afield on one of the many day trips on paddle and turbine steamers. These days the PS Waverley is the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world.

The Pavilion Ballroom, completed in 1938, took centre stage and hosted thousands of servicemen during the war, its famous sprung dance floor bouncing to twelve hundred dancers or more of an evening. Today the Pavilion hosts pop and rock concerts as well as discos and the big island festivals such as jazz and folk.

The Winter Garden, which opened in 1924, became a popular venue and headlined all the big stars of their day. Rothesay boasted four 'picture houses' one of which seated nearly one thousand people. Now we have a multi-use cinema at the Winter Garden which caters admirably for movie fans as well as providing a mini stage for live performances. Within the original auditorium a new centre has been created which includes a multimedia Tourist Information and Orientation Centre.

This new 'Orientation Centre' entertains and instructs people today while looking at their past.

Anne Shaw
Annie was born a Brandane into the Currie household and can take her family association with the island back a couple of hundred years.
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