King's Theatre

Kirkcaldy’s main cinema until its closure in 2000. Currently being restored to create Fife’s largest performing arts venue.

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Address
252-262 High Street, Kirkcaldy, Fife, KY1 1LA
Risk Rating
8 (risk rating: 3, star rating: 2, community rating: 3)
Local Authority
Fife Council
Architect
J D Swanston & William Williamson
Date of Construction
1904
Listing
Category B (façade only)
Capacity
Estimated at 2,000

Significance

Originally opened as the King’s Theatre in 1904, the building at the High Street’s east end later became a cinema, remaining Kirkcaldy’s main picture house until its closure in 2000. The facade of the original 1904 building still survives. The interior was once similar to the architect’s magnificent King's Theatre in Edinburgh, but was gutted in 1937 to be rebuilt in streamlined cinema mode, later converted to three screens.  However, some of the original theatre wall decoration has been preserved behind later alterations. There is much local interest in restoring the building for community use.

Why is this theatre at risk?

After closing as a cinema the building was sold to the Commercial Pub Company and planning permission was granted for the conversion to a pub and performance venue. However, listed building consent for internal and external decorations was later withdrawn. In 2005, the building was sold, remaining empty and suffering from a lack of maintenance.

Current situation

Kings Theatre Kirkcaldy Limited secured the freehold of the building in August 2016 and plans to return the three former cinema screens to one large auditorium to host an audience of between 1,750 and 2,000. The former YWCA at the rear of the building will be adapted to form a high end corporate event space and a fine dining restaurant to help subsidise the theatre. Fundraising so far has allowed for an in-depth structural report, a full building survey, an evaluation survey and planning pre-application. Work has begun to make the building weathertight, and volunteers have helped to clear debris from inside the building.

Campaign video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ofQWGUMkZ0

Image: King's Theatre Kirkcaldy, David Clark